Suppose you are in the midst of a separation and trying to determine the right approach to finalize your divorce. In that case, you have to start by answering a few questions about your situation and considering your end goals. While you want to end the process with a divorce, you may also want to end it with a good relationship with your current spouse. There are many reasons to choose litigation, mediation, or collaboration, but you have to decide what is right for you and those in your care. You can sit down with legal representation and determine how your unique circumstances impact your needs.
Key Features of Three Types of Divorce
Much of your choice will come down to personal preference. Once you review some of the common features of each type of divorce, you will have a better idea of how each would apply to your situation.
Key Features of Mediation
- Neutral 3rd Party Participant
- The mediator isn’t Adjudicating
- Legal Representation Optional
Key Features of Collaboration
- Collaborating Attorneys
- No Court Agreement
- Four-Way Meetings
Key Features of Litigation
- Separate Legal Representation
- Legal System Compliance Mechanisms
- Clear Boundaries
Finding the divorce option that best fits your family situation can lead to better outcomes in the end. If you have children and will need to share custody with your current spouse, retaining a working relationship and open dialogue will be important in the future. Divorcees seeking to keep the details of their proceedings private may be interested in mediation. Many of your mediation agreement details will not be disclosed as they would be in a public proceeding. Opting for an alternative divorce can help you avoid the difficulties of traditional litigation. Collaborative divorces create a team approach as they work together to dissolve the marriage. While you will have personal legal representation, your attorney will work with your spouse’s attorney to create an agreement to serve you both.
Downsides to Divorce Alternatives
While there are many benefits to a collaborative divorce, it is not a workable solution for every couple. One of the primary drawbacks to this method is the inability to continue if the collaboration breaks down. If the spouses reach an impasse or no longer feel like collaboration is an option, your lawyers must withdraw, and the process has to begin again, or you have to try another method. This can be an expensive setback, and it could cause considerable delays. In mediation, if there is a breakdown and the couple can’t reach an agreement, the process has to start over from the beginning. Many couples who fail at mediation the first time become discouraged and decide to go ahead with divorce litigation.
Louis Winner, Family Law Attorney
When selecting a divorce method, your ultimate goal is the most important thing to remember. You must weigh your divorce options carefully and decide on the process that will work best for your situation. Call our offices now at (502) 812-1889 to schedule a consultation.