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The Four Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

No two marital relationships 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 pondering divorce, you have numerous choices about how to continue. In general terms, you need to consider 4 broad categories of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (Do It Yourself), Mediation, Collaborative and Lawsuits. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of every one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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

Divorce is extremely made complex, both legally and economically. You can easily make mistakes, and typically those errors are permanent. The only situation I can picture when a Do-It-Yourself 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, comparable incomes and no spousal support. In a case like that, a Do-It-Yourself divorce could be accomplished quite quickly and inexpensively. Nevertheless, I would still highly advise that each celebration have their own separate attorney evaluation the final files.

Mediation

In divorce mediation, a separating couple works with a neutral conciliator who assists both celebrations come to a contract on all elements of their divorce. Both parties still require to seek advice from with their own, specific lawyers throughout the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement agreement.

Here are a couple of advantages and disadvantages to consider prior to choosing if mediation will work for you.

On the “pro” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Lead to a better long-lasting relationship with your ex-husband given that you will not “combat” in court.
  • Be much easier on children given that the divorce procedures might be more peaceful.
  • Accelerate an arrangement.
  • Reduce expenses.
  • Help you remain in control of your divorce because you are deciding (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 money. If settlements stop working, you’ll need to start all over.
  • Be incomplete or unduly favorable to one spouse. If the mediator is unskilled or prejudiced towards your partner, the result could be undesirable for you.
  • Lead to an unenforceable contract. A mediation contract that’s lopsided or inadequately prepared can be challenged.
  • Result in legal issues. Any issue of law will still need to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to discover certain properties. Given that all financial details is willingly revealed and there is no subpoena of records, your spouse could possibly conceal assets/income.
  • Strengthen unhealthy habits patterns. If one spouse is controling and the other is submissive, the last settlement may not be fair.
  • Fuel emotions. Mediation could increase unfavorable habits of a partner with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples frequently hear about the wonders of mediation and how it is apparently a much better, less controversial, less costly and more “dignified” method to get a divorce. My biggest problem with mediation is that the sole role and goal of the mediator is to get the celebrations to come to an agreement– any agreement! Unless both parties can be fairly affordable and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting divorced???), I think that mediation is usually not a practical choice for most females.

Collective Divorce

Basically, collective divorce happens when a couple accepts work out a divorce settlement without litigating.

During a collective divorce both you and your husband will each work with a lawyer who has been trained in the collective divorce process. The function of the lawyers in a collaborative divorce is quite different than in a conventional divorce.

In the collaborative process, you, your spouse and your respective lawyers all must sign a contract 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 husband need to start all over once again and discover new lawyers. Neither celebration can use the same attorneys again!

Even if the collaborative process achieves success, you will generally have to appear in family court so a judge can sign the contract. The legal process can be much quicker and less pricey than conventional lawsuits if the collective process works.

Though, I have found that the collective method frequently does not work well to settle divorces including complicated monetary situations or when there are considerable properties. In collaborative divorce, simply as in mediation, all monetary details (income, properties and liabilities) is divulged voluntarily. What’s more, lots of high net worth divorces include companies and expert practices where it is fairly simple to conceal assets and earnings.

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

Do NOT use any of these first three alternatives– Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce– if:

  • You think your hubby is concealing assets/income.
  • Your spouse is prideful, and you have difficulty speaking up or you’re afraid to voice your viewpoints.
  • There is a history or threat of domestic violence (physical and/or mental) towards you and/or your children.
  • You or your spouse has a drug/alcohol dependency.

Litigated Divorce

The 4th divorce alternative is the most typical. These days, the majority of divorcing couples select the “traditional” design of litigated divorce.

Keep in mind, though, “litigated” does not mean the divorce winds up in court. The huge majority of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement agreement. “Litigation” is a legal term meaning ‘performing a suit.’

Why are suits a part of divorce? Since contrary to common belief, divorce normally does not involve 2 individuals mutually agreeing to end their marital relationship. In 80 percent of cases, the decision to divorce is unilateral– one celebration wants the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, develops an adversarial scenario right from the start and typically disqualifies mediation and collective divorce, given that both techniques rely on the complete cooperation of both celebrations and the voluntary disclosure of all financial details.

Plainly, if you are starting out with an adversarial and highly mentally charged scenario, the possibilities are very high that cooperation or mediation might fail. Why take the risk of going those routes when chances are they might stop working, wasting your money and time?

The most crucial and most difficult parts of any divorce are concerning an arrangement on kid custody, department of possessions and liabilities and alimony payments (just how much and for how long). You want your attorney to be a highly knowledgeable arbitrator, you don’t desire somebody who is excessively combative, all set to combat over anything and everything. An excessively controversial method will not just extend the pain and significantly increase your legal fees, it will also be mentally destructive to everybody included, especially the children.

Remember: The majority of divorce attorneys (or at least the ones I would advise) will always make every effort to come to a reasonable settlement with the other party. If they can’t come to a reasonable settlement or if the other party is completely unreasonable then, sadly, going to court, or threatening to do so, might be the only way to solve these concerns.

If you have attempted everything else, and you do end up in court, things can get really nasty and hostile. Up till that point both lawyers were “mediators,” trying to get the parties to compromise and pertain to some reasonable resolution. Once in court, the function of each lawyer changes. Negotiations and compromise move to the back burner. Their new task is to “win” and get the best possible result for their client.

And don’t forget, when you remain in court, it’s a judge who knows very 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 very big risk for both celebrations to take– which’s also why the hazard of going to court is normally such an excellent deterrent.

Here’s my last word of guidance about divorce options: Weigh divorce alternatives carefully. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is different. Certainly, if you have the ability to work with your partner to make decisions and both of you are truthful and reasonable, then mediation or the collective approach might be best. If you have doubts, it is good to be ready with “Plan B” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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