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The Four Divorce Alternatives
No 2 marriages are the same, therefore it just follows that no 2 divorces will be the same, either.
In fact, if you’re a lady who’s contemplating divorce, you have a number of choices about how to proceed. In general terms, you need to consider four broad classifications of divorce options: Do-It-Yourself (Do It Yourself), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of every one.
The best suggestions I can provide you about Do-It-Yourself Divorce, is DON’T Do-It-Yourself!
The only situation I can visualize when a Diy divorce may make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marital relationship lasted just 2 or 3 years and there are no kids, little or no assets/debts to be divided, equivalent incomes and no alimony. In a case like that, a Do-It-Yourself divorce might be accomplished quite quickly and inexpensively.
In divorce mediation, a separating couple works with a neutral conciliator who helps both celebrations concern an arrangement on all elements of their divorce. The conciliator might or may not be a lawyer, but he/she must be incredibly fluent in divorce and family law. In addition, it is vital for the arbitrator to be neutral and not promote for either party. Both celebrations still need to consult with their own, individual lawyers during the mediation and prior to signing the final divorce settlement agreement.
Here are a couple of advantages and disadvantages to think about prior to choosing if mediation will work for you.
On the “professional” side, divorce mediation might:
- Result in a better long-term relationship with your ex-husband given that you will not “combat” in court.
- Be much easier on kids because the divorce proceedings might be more serene.
- Accelerate an arrangement.
- Reduce costs.
- Assist you stay in control of your divorce because you are making the decisions (and the court isn’t).
- Permit more discretion. Mediation is private; litigated divorce is public.
Nevertheless, on the “con” side, divorce mediation might likewise:
- Lose time and money. If negotiations stop working, you’ll need to begin all over.
- Be insufficient or unduly beneficial to one partner. If the arbitrator is unskilled or prejudiced towards your hubby, the outcome could be unfavorable for you.
- Result in an unenforceable agreement. A mediation agreement that’s uneven or badly drafted can be challenged.
- Lead to legal issues. Any concern of law will still require to be ruled upon by the court.
- Fail to uncover particular possessions. Because all financial information is voluntarily disclosed and there is no subpoena of records, your husband could possibly hide assets/income.
- Reinforce unhealthy habits patterns. If one partner is controling and the other is submissive, the last settlement may not be fair.
- Fuel emotions. Mediation could increase unfavorable habits of a spouse with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.
Couples often hear about the marvels of mediation and how it is apparently a much better, less controversial, less pricey and more “dignified” way to get a divorce. My biggest problem with mediation is that the sole function and objective of the conciliator is to get the parties to come to an arrangement– any contract! Unless both parties can be fairly reasonable and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting separated???), I believe that mediation is normally not a viable option for the majority of females.
Put simply, collaborative divorce takes place when a couple agrees to exercise a divorce settlement without going to court.
During a collaborative divorce both you and your other half will each work with a lawyer who has been trained in the collaborative divorce procedure. The role of the attorneys in a collective divorce is quite different than in a conventional divorce.
In the collective process, you, your husband and your particular lawyers all need to sign a contract that requires that both attorneys withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if lawsuits is threatened. If this takes place, both you and your spouse should begin all over again and find new attorneys. Neither party can utilize the exact same attorneys once again!
Even if the collective process is successful, you will typically need to appear in family court so a judge can sign the agreement. The legal procedure can be much quicker and less costly than conventional lawsuits if the collective procedure works.
Though, I have found that the collaborative method frequently does not work well to settle divorces including complex monetary circumstances or when there are considerable assets. In collaborative divorce, just as in mediation, all monetary information (income, assets and liabilities) is disclosed voluntarily. What’s more, numerous high net worth divorces involve companies and expert practices where it is reasonably easy to hide assets and income.
… as a general rule, my suggestion is this:
Do NOT use any of these first 3 alternatives– Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce– if:
- You believe your partner is concealing assets/income.
- Your hubby is aggressive, and you have difficulty speaking up or you hesitate to voice your opinions.
- There is a history or danger of domestic violence (physical and/or psychological) towards you and/or your kids.
- You or your spouse has a drug/alcohol dependency.
The fourth divorce alternative is the most common. These days, most of divorcing couples choose the “standard” design of prosecuted divorce.
Bear in mind, though, “prosecuted” does not indicate the divorce ends up in court. In fact, the vast majority of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement contract. “Lawsuits” is a legal term significance ‘carrying out a lawsuit.’
In 80 percent of cases, the decision to divorce is unilateral– one celebration desires the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, creates an adversarial situation right from the start and often disqualifies mediation and collective divorce, because both techniques rely on the full cooperation of both parties and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary info.
Clearly, if you are starting with an adversarial and highly mentally charged circumstance, the chances are extremely high that partnership or mediation may stop working. Why take the risk of going those routes when odds are they might fail, wasting your time and money?
The most crucial and most difficult parts of any divorce are concerning a contract on kid custody, division of assets and liabilities and spousal support payments (how much and for the length of time). You want your lawyer to be a highly skilled arbitrator, you don’t want somebody who is extremely combative, prepared to fight over anything and everything. An excessively controversial technique will not only prolong the pain and substantially increase your legal fees, it will likewise be emotionally harmful to everybody included, specifically the kids.
Remember: Many divorce lawyers (or at least the ones I would recommend) will constantly strive to come to a sensible settlement with the other party. However if they can’t concern an affordable settlement or if the other party is completely unreasonable then, sadly, litigating, or threatening to do so, might be the only way to fix these problems.
If you have actually tried everything else, and you do wind up in court, things can get really nasty and hostile. Up until that point both attorneys were “arbitrators,” attempting to get the celebrations to jeopardize and pertain to some affordable resolution. Once in court, the role of each lawyer changes. Negotiations and compromise relocate to the back burner. Their brand-new job is to “win” and get the very best possible result for their client.
And don’t forget, once you remain in court, it’s a judge who understands extremely little about you and your family that will make the decisions about your children, your property, your money and how you live your life. That’s a huge risk for both celebrations to take– which’s also why the threat of litigating is normally such a good deterrent.
Here’s my last word of recommendations about divorce options: Weigh divorce choices thoroughly. If you have doubts, it is excellent to be all set with “Plan B” which would be the litigated divorce.
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