Divorce can be challenging for any couple. After all, whether you have been with your partner for years or just a short time, you likely thought your marriage would last forever. Still, if your marriage is no longer working for either you or your spouse, divorce may be the best option. 

Marriages end for a variety of reasons, including financial hardships, infidelity and absent intimacy. While you may want to avoid a protracted court battle, litigation may be necessary to finalize your divorce. Here are three times when asking a judge to intervene usually makes sense: 

1. A lack of cooperation

Mediation and divorce negotiations require both individuals to make a good-faith effort to divide marital assets, establish child custody and tackle other important matters. If your partner demonstrates an unwillingness to cooperate, trying to reach a negotiated settlement may be a waste of time, energy and money. 

2. Unreasonable offers

Even if you and your spouse initially commit to a collaborative divorce, you may soon realize that you both have different ideas about what happens to marital wealth. If a settlement offer seems unreasonably low, you may be unable to convince your spouse to give you your fair share. Litigation may be the only way to receive what is rightfully yours. 

3. Unique circumstances

Sometimes, divorcing spouses have unique circumstances that make mediation virtually impossible. For example, you and your spouse may have an acrimonious relationship. Alternatively, you may have certain assets that are not easy to divide. Either way, you may need the expertise of a family law judge to help you settle important matters. 

While litigation is not the only way to divorce a spouse, it makes sense in certain situations. If any of the above applies to you, you may be better off heading to divorce court instead of trying to negotiate a settlement with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.