Solent Family Mediation help households in conflict, especially those separating or separating. Whatever the problems, our competence will help you settle them

The 4 Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

No 2 marriages are the same, and so it only follows that no two divorces will be the same, either.

In fact, if you’re a lady who’s considering divorce, you have a number of choices about how to continue. In general terms, you require to think about four broad categories of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (Do It Yourself), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of every one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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

The only scenario I can envision when a Do-It-Yourself divorce may make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marital relationship lasted just two or 3 years and there are no kids, little or no assets/debts to be divided, comparable earnings and no spousal support. In a case like that, a Diy divorce could be accomplished quite rapidly and cheaply.


In divorce mediation, a separating couple deals with a neutral conciliator who helps both celebrations concern an agreement on all elements of their divorce. The arbitrator may or might not be a legal representative, however he/she needs to be very skilled in divorce and family law. In addition, it is important for the arbitrator to be neutral and not promote for either party. Both celebrations still need to seek advice from their own, specific lawyers during the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement arrangement.

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

On the “professional” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Lead to a much better long-term relationship with your ex-husband given that you will not “battle” in court.
  • Be easier on kids because the divorce procedures might be more serene.
  • Speed up a contract.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Assist you stay in control of your divorce since you are making the decisions (and the court isn’t).
  • Enable more discretion. Mediation is private; litigated divorce is public.

On the “con” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Waste time and cash. If settlements fail, you’ll require to start 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 agreement. A mediation contract that’s uneven or inadequately prepared can be challenged.
  • Lead to legal complications. Any problem of law will still need to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to discover specific possessions. Considering that all monetary information is voluntarily revealed and there is no subpoena of records, your other half could possibly conceal assets/income.
  • Reinforce unhealthy behavior patterns. If one partner is controling and the other is submissive, the last settlement might not be reasonable.
  • Fuel feelings. Mediation might increase unfavorable habits of a spouse with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples often find out about the wonders of mediation and how it is reportedly a better, less contentious, more economical and more “dignified” way to get a divorce. Nevertheless, my biggest issue with mediation is that the sole role and goal of the mediator is to get the parties to come to a contract– any agreement! Keep in mind, the conciliator can not provide any suggestions. All they can do is try to get you to concur. Not all agreements are good arrangements, and in reality, in numerous cases, no arrangement is better than a bad arrangement. So unless both parties can be relatively reasonable and amicable (and if they can be, why are they getting divorced???), I think that mediation is typically not a viable option for a lot of ladies.

Collaborative Divorce

Put simply, collaborative divorce takes place when a couple accepts exercise a divorce settlement without litigating.

During a collaborative divorce both you and your partner will each work with a lawyer who has actually been trained in the collaborative divorce procedure. The role of the lawyers in a collaborative divorce is rather different than in a conventional divorce. Each attorney recommends and assists their customer in working out a settlement agreement. You will meet your lawyer individually and you and your attorney will likewise meet your partner and his lawyer. The collective process may also involve other neutral experts such as a divorce monetary coordinator who will assist both of you resolve your monetary concerns and a coach or therapist who can help direct both of you through kid custody and other emotionally charged issues.

In the collaborative procedure, you, your partner and your particular attorneys all should 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 takes place, both you and your partner need to start all over once again and discover brand-new lawyers. Neither celebration can use the same attorneys once again!

Even if the collaborative procedure succeeds, you will normally need to appear in family court so a judge can sign the contract. The legal process can be much quicker and less expensive than standard lawsuits if the collaborative procedure works.

Though, I have found that the collaborative method frequently does not work well to settle divorces including complicated monetary scenarios or when there are substantial assets. In collaborative divorce, just as in mediation, all financial info (income, possessions and liabilities) is divulged willingly. What’s more, lots of high net worth divorces involve businesses and professional practices where it is relatively easy to conceal properties and earnings.

… as a basic rule, my suggestion is this:

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

  • You presume your partner is hiding assets/income.
  • Your spouse is domineering, and you have problem speaking up or you’re afraid to voice your viewpoints.
  • There is a history or risk of domestic violence (physical and/or psychological) towards you and/or your children.
  • You or your hubby has a drug/alcohol dependency.

Litigated Divorce

The fourth divorce alternative is the most typical. These days, the majority of separating couples choose the “standard” design of litigated divorce.

Keep in mind, though, “prosecuted” does not suggest the divorce ends up in court. The large majority of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement agreement. “Lawsuits” is a legal term meaning ‘carrying out a claim.’

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, creates an adversarial situation right from the start and typically disqualifies mediation and collaborative divorce, considering that both methods rely on the full cooperation of both celebrations and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary details.

Plainly, if you are beginning with an adversarial and highly emotionally charged situation, the opportunities are very high that cooperation or mediation may stop working. Why take the danger of going those routes when chances are they might fail, squandering your time and money?

The most essential and most hard parts of any divorce are coming to an arrangement on child custody, division of properties and liabilities and alimony payments (how much and for how long). Although you desire your attorney to be a highly experienced negotiator, you do not desire somebody who is excessively combative, ready to combat over anything and everything. An extremely controversial technique will not only lengthen the discomfort and substantially increase your legal fees, it will also be emotionally damaging to everyone included, particularly the children.

Keep in mind: The majority of divorce lawyers (or a minimum of the ones I would suggest) will always make every effort to come to a sensible settlement with the other party. However if they can’t come to a sensible settlement or if the other party is totally unreasonable then, sadly, going to court, or threatening to do so, might be the only way to fix these issues.

Up until that point both attorneys were “mediators,” trying to get the celebrations to compromise and come to some reasonable resolution. Once in court, the function of each lawyer changes.

And don’t forget, once you remain in court, it’s a judge who knows really little about you and your family that will make the final decisions about your children, your property, your money and how you live your life. That’s a very big threat for both celebrations to take– which’s also why the threat of going to court is generally such a great deterrent.

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

Related Articles
Solent Family Mediation Important Links