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The Four Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

No 2 marital relationships are the same, and so it just follows that no two divorces will be the same, either.

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 think about four broad classifications of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Lawsuits. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

The best suggestions I can provide you about Do-It-Yourself Divorce, is DON’T Do-It-Yourself!

The only scenario I can visualize when a Do-It-Yourself divorce may make any possible sense, may be in a case where the marital relationship lasted just 2 or three years and there are no children, little or no assets/debts to be divided, similar earnings and no alimony. In a case like that, a Diy divorce could be achieved quite quickly and inexpensively.

Mediation

In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple works with a neutral conciliator who assists both celebrations come to an agreement on all elements of their divorce. Both parties still need to consult with their own, specific lawyers during the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement arrangement.

Here are a couple of pros and cons to think about prior to deciding if mediation will work for you.

On the “pro” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Lead to a much better long-lasting relationship with your ex-husband given that you will not “battle” in court.
  • Be much easier on kids since the divorce proceedings might be more peaceful.
  • Accelerate an arrangement.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Assist you stay in control of your divorce since you are deciding (and the court isn’t).
  • Allow for more discretion. Mediation is personal; litigated divorce is public.

On the “con” side, divorce mediation might:

  • Waste time and money. If negotiations fail, you’ll need to start all over.
  • Be insufficient or unduly favorable to one spouse. If the arbitrator is unskilled or prejudiced towards your husband, the outcome could be undesirable for you.
  • Lead to an unenforceable agreement. A mediation arrangement that’s uneven or badly prepared can be challenged.
  • Result in legal complications. Any problem of law will still require to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to reveal particular properties. Considering that all monetary info is willingly divulged and there is no subpoena of records, your partner might potentially conceal assets/income.
  • Enhance unhealthy habits patterns. If one spouse is dominating and the other is submissive, the last settlement might not be fair.
  • Fuel feelings. Mediation might increase unfavorable behavior of a spouse with a propensity for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples often hear about the marvels of mediation and how it is supposedly a better, less controversial, more economical and more “dignified” method to get a divorce. My most significant problem with mediation is that the sole function and objective of the arbitrator is to get the parties to come to an arrangement– any agreement! Remember, the arbitrator can not give any guidance. All they can do is attempt to get you to agree. Unfortunately, not all arrangements are excellent contracts, and in fact, in a lot of cases, no arrangement is much better than a bad arrangement. Unless both celebrations can be relatively reasonable and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting separated???), I believe that mediation is typically not a viable choice for the majority of ladies.

Collective Divorce

Simply put, collective divorce happens when a couple agrees to work out a divorce settlement without going to court.

During a collective divorce both you and your other half will each hire a lawyer who has actually been trained in the collaborative divorce process. The function of the attorneys in a collective divorce is rather different than in a standard divorce.

In the collective process, you, your husband and your particular attorneys all need to sign an agreement that needs that both attorneys withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if lawsuits is threatened. If this happens, both you and your spouse should start all over again and discover new attorneys. Neither party can use the exact same lawyers once again!

Even if the collaborative process succeeds, you will normally have to appear in family court so a judge can sign the contract. But the legal process can be much quicker and less costly than traditional litigation if the collaborative process works.

However, I have actually found that the collaborative technique often does not work well to settle divorces including complex financial scenarios or when there are considerable assets. In collective divorce, simply as in mediation, all financial information (earnings, assets and liabilities) is revealed willingly. What’s more, numerous high net worth divorces include companies and professional practices where it is fairly easy to conceal possessions and earnings.

So … as a basic guideline, my recommendation is this:

Do NOT use any of these very first 3 choices– Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce– if:

  • You suspect your husband is concealing assets/income.
  • Your hubby is aggressive, and you have trouble speaking out or you’re afraid to voice your viewpoints.
  • There is a history or danger of domestic violence (physical and/or mental) towards you and/or your kids.
  • You or your hubby has a drug/alcohol addiction.

Litigated Divorce

The fourth divorce alternative is the most typical. Nowadays, most of separating couples choose the “conventional” design of prosecuted divorce.

Bear in mind, however, “prosecuted” does not indicate the divorce winds up in court. In fact, the huge bulk of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement agreement. “Lawsuits” is a legal term meaning ‘performing a lawsuit.’

Why are lawsuits a part of divorce? Due to the fact that contrary to common belief, divorce typically does not involve two people mutually accepting end their marital relationship. In 80 percent of cases, the choice to divorce is unilateral– one celebration wants the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, creates an adversarial scenario right from the start and typically disqualifies mediation and collective divorce, considering that both approaches rely on the full cooperation of both parties and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary information.

Clearly, if you are starting with an adversarial and highly emotionally charged scenario, the possibilities are extremely high that partnership or mediation might fail. Why take the danger of going those routes when chances are they might stop working, wasting your money and time?

The most important and most challenging parts of any divorce are pertaining to a contract on child custody, division of assets and liabilities and alimony payments (how much and for for how long). Although you want your lawyer to be an extremely proficient negotiator, you do not want somebody who is overly combative, all set to fight over anything and everything. An extremely contentious method will not just lengthen the pain and considerably increase your legal costs, it will also be mentally destructive to everyone included, especially the kids.

Remember: A lot of divorce lawyers (or at least the ones I would recommend) will constantly aim to come to a reasonable settlement with the other celebration. But if they can’t concern a sensible settlement or if the other party is totally unreasonable then, unfortunately, going to court, or threatening to do so, might be the only way to fix these issues.

Up till that point both lawyers were “mediators,” attempting to get the parties to jeopardize and come to some reasonable resolution. As soon as in court, the role of each attorney modifications.

And don’t forget, once you’re in court, it’s a judge who knows extremely little about you and your family that will make the final decisions about your kids, your residential or commercial property, your money and how you live your life. That’s a huge risk for both parties to take– and that’s also why the hazard of going to court is typically such a good deterrent.

Here’s my last word of advice about divorce alternatives: Weigh divorce alternatives carefully. If you have doubts, it is excellent to be prepared with “Strategy B” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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