Approximately half of all marriages in the U.S., including Louisiana, ultimately end in divorce. In some instances, there is quite a lot of bitterness and acrimony, while in other instances, a couple may simply recognize that they've grown apart and agree that it would be better for all concerned to put an end to it and move on with their lives.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to resolve issues arising in the divorce in a cooperative or collaborative manner, as opposed to fully litigating everything in court. The better the lines of communication currently are between the two estranged spouses, the more possible this may be.
A key advantage in pursuing such a path, of course, is minimizing both costs and delay. In instances in which one or both spouses are interested in soon remarrying, or even just seriously pursuing other relationships, quickly casting off the baggage of the past that comes attached to the now dead marriage may, all by itself, be a powerful motivator to encourage the quick resolution to many remaining issues.
An advantage to having more of a negotiated settlement is that doing things this way may better protect the privacy of all concerned and avoid the airing of dirty linen in open court. Additionally, this may be beneficial to children and lessen the possibility of them unnecessarily hearing unpleasant details that could come out in open court and be etched in public records through court filings. Children should also not be made to feel like they have to "take sides" with one parent against the other, and should feel assured that both parents still love them and will always be there to support and assist them.
In some instances, of course, one spouse may refuse to cooperate and negotiate in good faith to resolve problems. In such cases, the court is always there as a mechanism to iron out differences, and your divorce attorney knows how to best present your case to maximum advantage.
Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Should I Negotiate or Litigate My Divorce" Caroline Choi, Sep. 25, 2013