We have all heard about nasty divorces. Yet, people may not realize that divorce does not always mean a trip to the courthouse. There are various ways to dissolve a marriage that do not require feuding spouses, contested litigation or courtroom drama.
Process options for divorce
Several different paths or options exist to get people to the D-I-V-O-R-C-E finish line.
DIY (Do It Yourself):Divorcing spouses sit down together without lawyers, work through the details, and reach agreements on all issues related to their divorce. This option is viable for spouses who are capable of being civil and cooperative on their own. Because lawyers do not negotiate the settlement, DIY is a cost-effective option.
Mediation: Mediation is a voluntary process involving an impartial third party who acts as the mediator. The mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between spouses with a goal of assisting the spouses to reach a voluntary agreement. Spouses may have attorneys present in mediation or they may participate without attorneys. Mediation often reduces conflict, provides spouses with control over their divorce process and outcome, expedites a settlement, and tempers attorney fees.
Collaborative Divorce:A Collaborative Divorce is a structured, voluntary dispute-resolution process where the spouses and professional team agree not to use litigation as a means of resolving their divorce. The professional team includes each spouse’s attorney and may include other professionals like a divorce coach, child specialist or financial specialist. The Collaborative process is transparent and private and the spouses control the outcomes and pacing.
Negotiation by Attorneys: Divorcing spouses allow their respective attorneys to negotiate all disputes and reach a settlement. Spouses’ participation in negotiation varies. Negotiating may occur via written correspondence and/or a meeting between the attorneys.
Divorce is difficult. Yet, contentious battles aren’t the only path to divorce. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, remember that more peaceful and respectful process options exist.