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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 woman who’s contemplating divorce, you have several options about how to continue. In general terms, you need to think about four broad categories of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Lawsuits. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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

Divorce is really made complex, both lawfully and economically. You can quickly make mistakes, and often those errors are irreversible. The only scenario I can visualize when a Diy divorce might make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marriage lasted just two or three years and there are no children, little or no assets/debts to be divided, similar incomes and no spousal support. In a case like that, a Diy divorce could be accomplished quite quickly and cheaply. I would still extremely suggest that each celebration have their own separate lawyer evaluation the final files.

Mediation

In divorce mediation, a separating couple works with a neutral conciliator who helps both celebrations pertain to an arrangement on all aspects of their divorce. The mediator may or might not be an attorney, but he/she needs to be incredibly skilled in divorce and family law. In addition, it is critical for the mediator to be neutral and not advocate for either celebration. Both celebrations still need to seek advice from their own, private lawyers throughout the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement agreement.

Here are a couple of 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 considering that you will not “combat” in court.
  • Be simpler on children because the divorce procedures may be more serene.
  • Accelerate an arrangement.
  • Reduce expenditures.
  • Help you remain in control of your divorce since you are making the decisions (and the court isn’t).
  • Enable more discretion. Mediation is personal; litigated divorce is public.

On the “con” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Lose time and cash. If negotiations fail, you’ll need to begin all over.
  • Be insufficient or unduly favorable to one partner. If the mediator is inexperienced or biased towards your husband, the result could be undesirable for you.
  • Lead to an unenforceable contract. A mediation contract that’s lopsided or poorly drafted can be challenged.
  • Cause legal issues. Any problem of law will still need to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to reveal certain possessions. Considering that all monetary information is voluntarily revealed and there is no subpoena of records, your spouse might possibly hide assets/income.
  • Reinforce unhealthy habits patterns. If one spouse is dominating and the other is submissive, the final settlement may not be fair.
  • Fuel emotions. Mediation could increase unfavorable behavior of a partner with a propensity for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples typically hear about the marvels of mediation and how it is reportedly a better, less contentious, 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 parties to come to an arrangement– any agreement! Unless both celebrations can be fairly affordable and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting divorced???), I think that mediation is typically not a feasible choice for a lot of ladies.

Collaborative Divorce

Simply put, collective divorce takes place when a couple accepts work out a divorce settlement without going to court.

During a collective divorce both you and your husband will each hire an attorney who has been trained in the collaborative divorce procedure. The role of the lawyers in a collective divorce is quite different than in a traditional divorce. Each attorney recommends and assists their customer in negotiating a settlement arrangement. You will meet with your lawyer independently and you and your lawyer will also meet with your partner and his lawyer. The collaborative procedure may also include other neutral professionals such as a divorce financial planner who will assist both of you overcome your financial issues and a coach or therapist who can help direct both of you through child custody and other mentally charged issues.

In the collaborative procedure, you, your partner 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 litigation is threatened. If this occurs, both you and your partner must begin all over again and discover brand-new lawyers. Neither party can utilize the exact same attorneys once again!

Even if the collective procedure achieves success, you will generally need to appear in family court so a judge can sign the contract. However the legal process can be much quicker and cheaper than conventional litigation if the collaborative process works.

However, I have discovered that the collaborative approach often doesn’t work well to settle divorces involving complex financial scenarios or when there are substantial properties. In collective divorce, just as in mediation, all monetary info (earnings, possessions and liabilities) is revealed voluntarily. What’s more, lots of high net worth divorces involve companies and expert practices where it is reasonably simple to hide properties and earnings.

… as a basic rule, my suggestion is this:

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

  • You suspect your husband is concealing assets/income.
  • Your husband is prideful, and you have problem speaking out 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 kids.
  • You or your other half has a drug/alcohol addiction.

Litigated Divorce

The 4th divorce choice is the most typical. Nowadays, most of divorcing couples choose the “standard” design of prosecuted divorce.

Bear in mind, however, “litigated” does not suggest 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 contract. “Litigation” is a legal term significance ‘carrying out a suit.’

In 80 percent of cases, the decision 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 frequently disqualifies mediation and collaborative divorce, considering that both approaches rely on the complete cooperation of both parties and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary information.

Clearly, if you are beginning with an adversarial and extremely emotionally charged scenario, the opportunities are really high that collaboration or mediation may stop working. Why take the risk of going those routes when chances are they might stop working, wasting your time and money?

The most important and most difficult parts of any divorce are pertaining to an agreement on child custody, division of properties and liabilities and spousal support payments (how much and for for how long). You desire your lawyer to be an extremely proficient negotiator, you don’t desire someone who is excessively combative, ready to battle over anything and whatever. An excessively contentious method will not only extend the pain and considerably increase your legal charges, it will likewise be mentally damaging to everybody included, specifically the children.

Keep in mind: Many divorce lawyers (or a minimum of the ones I would advise) will constantly strive to come to a reasonable settlement with the other celebration. If they can’t come to a sensible settlement or if the other celebration is completely unreasonable then, sadly, going to court, or threatening to do so, may be the only way to fix these concerns.

Up till that point both lawyers were “negotiators,” trying to get the celebrations to jeopardize and come to some affordable resolution. When in court, the function of each lawyer modifications.

And do not forget, once you remain in court, it’s a judge who understands really little about you and your family that will make the final decisions about your children, your property, your cash and how you live your life. That’s a very big risk for both celebrations 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 suggestions about divorce options: Weigh divorce options carefully. If you have doubts, it is good to be all set with “Plan B” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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