Are you contemplating divorce? Before filing your papers, you need to know that there are four options to choose from. The good thing about having alternatives is you can select which one is ideal for your situation. During this highly emotional moment of your life, it is important to avoid making a decision that you end up losing a lot. To prevent it from happening, you must discern the best course of action that will make you and your children financially secure after the marriage is finally over.
Four alternatives to divorce
Divorce mediation involves working with a third-party person or a neutral mediator to help the couple agree on important aspects of their separation. This person can be a lawyer or a non-lawyer who is well-versed in family laws. During the mediation process, both parties should consult their individual lawyers and seek their counsel before signing the divorce settlement agreement.
It expedites and streamlines the process of divorce.
It offers a neutral playing ground for the couple whose reasons for ending the marriage are more complicated and hurting one or both parties involved.
It keeps the negotiations calmer without the pressure of doing court battles over child custody, child support, property division, and other matters.
Easier on children because of more peaceful proceeding that is focused on ensuring their best interests, each parent is expected to be objective and rational
This leads to a better post-marriage relationship with the ex-spouse, which is possible since you will not have court ‘fights’.
Privacy is protected because mediation is an off-court settlement, and the resolution of pertinent matters is more discreet.
It’s cost-effective because you will only be paying for the hours spent for mediated sessions until you and your ex reach the terms of the mutual agreement.
It provides a higher rate of compliance and more personal experience, allowing both parties to stay in control while negotiating for the best interest of everyone.
Representation is optional, which means you may or may not have a lawyer with you during the mediation sessions.
It saves time and money since mediation helps to shift a contested divorce into an uncontested one, helping you save a lot in lawyer’s fees and the cost of the litigation process.
A litigated divorce is the traditional method of getting a divorce. In this approach, you and your ex and soon-to-be former spouse need separate lawyers. The individual attorney works for a favorable settlement for the client, which is you and your ex.
This kind of divorce is considered the most expensive and time-consuming process. While it typically ends up in court battles, there is an option to settle everything at a negotiation table where both parties, together with their lawyers, settle family issues.
This divorce model is more confidential and involves applying the principles of not severing the relationships and the obligations for the kids. Both parties agree not to go to court to settle the issues that revolve around the finances, properties, and custody.
For this approach, you and your ex need a separate lawyer who is an expert on the collaborative divorce process. The main role of the attorneys is to advise and assist clients or negotiate on their behalf. In addition, it may involve seeking other professionals like a therapist or counselor to help you through the process of child custody. In the context of money and assets settlement, a divorce financial planner can be called. In collaborative divorce, lawyers are powerful and can leverage the advantages of their clients over their spouses. So, make sure to hire an experienced divorce attorney to represent you.
DIY divorce means you are in charge of your own battle. You will not be hiring a divorce lawyer, which reduces the upfront expenses. However, many divorce experts do not recommend the do-it-yourself approach because the legal battle is complex and requires in-depth knowledge about family laws. The probability of making irreversible mistakes is high in this method and can lead to more loss and heartaches.
No two marriages are alike; neither are divorces. If you’ve already decided to finalize the end of your marriage legally, finding the best approach to go through the process is imperative. Your choice depends on the circumstances of your marriage, preferences, and the outcomes you want to gain as you surrender your married status with finality.