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The 4 Divorce Alternatives
No two marriages are the same, therefore it only follows that no two divorces will be the same, either.
If you’re a lady who’s pondering divorce, you have a number of alternatives about how to continue. In general terms, you need to consider 4 broad classifications of divorce options: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Lawsuits. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each one.
The very best suggestions I can provide you about Do-It-Yourself Divorce, is DON’T Do-It-Yourself!
Divorce is extremely complicated, both legally and economically. You can easily make mistakes, and often those errors are irreversible. The only situation I can imagine when a Diy divorce may make any possible sense, might 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 incomes and no alimony. In a case like that, a Diy divorce could be achieved rather quickly and cheaply. However, I would still extremely recommend that each party have their own separate attorney review the last files.
In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple works with a neutral arbitrator who helps both parties concern a contract on all elements of their divorce. The arbitrator may or may not be a legal representative, however he/she should be extremely fluent in divorce and family law. In addition, it is critical for the conciliator to be neutral and not advocate for either party. Both celebrations still require to seek advice from their own, specific attorneys throughout the mediation and prior to signing the final divorce settlement agreement.
Here are a few benefits and drawbacks to consider before choosing 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 “fight” in court.
- Be much easier on kids since the divorce proceedings might be more peaceful.
- Speed up an agreement.
- Reduce costs.
- Help you remain in control of your divorce because you are making the decisions (and the court isn’t).
- Allow for more discretion. Mediation is personal; prosecuted divorce is public.
Nevertheless, on the “con” side, divorce mediation may also:
- Lose time and cash. If negotiations stop working, you’ll require to start all over.
- Be insufficient or unduly beneficial to one spouse. If the conciliator is inexperienced or prejudiced towards your other half, the result could be unfavorable for you.
- Lead to an unenforceable contract. A mediation contract that’s uneven or badly drafted can be challenged.
- Lead to legal problems. Any issue of law will still need to be ruled upon by the court.
- Fail to reveal certain assets. Because all monetary information is willingly disclosed and there is no subpoena of records, your spouse could potentially conceal assets/income.
- Strengthen unhealthy behavior patterns. If one partner is controling and the other is submissive, the last settlement may not be fair.
- Fuel feelings. Mediation could increase unfavorable habits of a spouse with a propensity for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.
Couples often become aware of the wonders of mediation and how it is supposedly a better, less contentious, more economical and more “dignified” method to get a divorce. However, my biggest issue with mediation is that the sole function and goal of the arbitrator is to get the celebrations to come to an arrangement– any arrangement! Remember, the mediator can not offer any recommendations. All they can do is attempt to get you to concur. Not all agreements are excellent contracts, and in reality, in many cases, no contract is better than a bad agreement. So unless both celebrations can be fairly reasonable and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting separated???), I believe that mediation is generally not a viable option for most females.
Simply put, collaborative divorce takes place when a couple consents to exercise a divorce settlement without going to court.
During a collective divorce both you and your partner will each employ a lawyer who has been trained in the collaborative divorce procedure. The role of the attorneys in a collective divorce is rather different than in a conventional divorce.
In the collective procedure, you, your husband and your particular attorneys all need to sign an arrangement that needs that both attorneys withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if litigation is threatened. If this happens, both you and your husband need to begin all over again and find new lawyers. Neither party can use the exact same attorneys once again!
Even if the collaborative procedure is successful, you will generally have to appear in family court so a judge can sign the arrangement. The legal procedure can be much quicker and less costly than standard lawsuits if the collaborative process works.
However, I have actually found that the collective technique typically does not work well to settle divorces including complex financial situations or when there are considerable properties. In collective divorce, just as in mediation, all monetary information (earnings, assets and liabilities) is divulged willingly. What’s more, numerous high net worth divorces involve services and expert practices where it is relatively easy to hide possessions and earnings.
So … as a general rule, my suggestion is this:
Do NOT use any of these very first three alternatives– Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce– if:
- You presume your husband is hiding assets/income.
- Your spouse is aggressive, and you have trouble speaking up or you’re afraid to voice your opinions.
- There is a history or danger of domestic violence (physical and/or psychological) towards you and/or your children.
- You or your husband has a drug/alcohol addiction.
The 4th divorce option is the most common. Nowadays, the majority of separating couples select the “standard” model of prosecuted divorce.
Keep in mind, though, “prosecuted” does not imply the divorce ends up in court. In fact, the large majority of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement arrangement. “Lawsuits” is a legal term significance ‘performing a lawsuit.’
In 80 percent of cases, the choice to divorce is unilateral– one party wants the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, develops an adversarial situation right from the start and typically disqualifies mediation and collective divorce, considering that both techniques rely on the full cooperation of both celebrations and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary info.
Plainly, if you are starting out with an adversarial and extremely mentally charged circumstance, the chances are very high that collaboration or mediation might stop working. Why take the risk of going those paths when chances are they might stop working, losing your money and time?
The most crucial and most tough parts of any divorce are pertaining to an agreement on kid custody, division of possessions and liabilities and spousal support payments (just how much and for for how long). You want your lawyer to be a highly proficient negotiator, you don’t desire someone who is overly combative, all set to battle over anything and everything. An excessively contentious technique will not only prolong the pain and significantly increase your legal costs, it will also be mentally destructive to everybody included, especially the kids.
Keep in mind: Most divorce attorneys (or a minimum of the ones I would advise) will constantly make every effort to come to a sensible settlement with the other celebration. If they can’t come to a reasonable settlement or if the other party is totally unreasonable then, regrettably, going to court, or threatening to do so, may be the only way to fix these concerns.
Up until that point both lawyers were “negotiators,” attempting to get the celebrations to jeopardize and come to some sensible resolution. Once in court, the role of each lawyer changes.
And don’t forget, when you’re in court, it’s a judge who understands very little about you and your family that will make the final decisions about your kids, your property, your money and how you live your life. That’s a very big danger for both parties to take– which’s likewise why the danger of litigating is generally such a good deterrent.
Here’s my last word of recommendations about divorce alternatives: Weigh divorce options carefully. If you have doubts, it is excellent to be prepared with “Strategy B” which would be the prosecuted divorce.
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