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The 4 Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

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

If you’re a female who’s considering divorce, you have numerous alternatives about how to proceed. In general terms, you require to consider 4 broad classifications of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (Do It Yourself), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of every one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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

The only situation I can picture when a Do-It-Yourself divorce might make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marital relationship lasted just two or three years and there are no children, little or no assets/debts to be divided, equivalent earnings and no spousal support. In a case like that, a Diy divorce might be accomplished quite quickly and cheaply.


In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple deals with a neutral mediator who assists both parties concern an agreement on all aspects of their divorce. The conciliator might or might not be a lawyer, however he/she must be incredibly well-versed in divorce and family law. In addition, it is critical for the mediator to be neutral and not promote for either celebration. Both celebrations still require to talk to their own, specific attorneys during the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement arrangement.

Here are a couple of pros and cons to think about before deciding if mediation will work for you.

On the “pro” side, divorce mediation might:

  • Result in a much better long-lasting relationship with your ex-husband considering that you will not “battle” in court.
  • Be easier on kids given that the divorce procedures might be more serene.
  • Expedite an arrangement.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Assist you remain in control of your divorce due to the fact that you are deciding (and the court isn’t).
  • Enable more discretion. Mediation is private; prosecuted divorce is public.

On the “con” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Lose time and money. If negotiations fail, you’ll require to start all over.
  • Be insufficient or unduly beneficial to one spouse. If the conciliator is inexperienced or biased towards your spouse, the result could be unfavorable for you.
  • Lead to an unenforceable agreement. A mediation agreement that’s lopsided or improperly prepared can be challenged.
  • Lead to legal issues. Any concern of law will still require to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to reveal certain properties. Given that all monetary information is voluntarily divulged and there is no subpoena of records, your husband might potentially conceal assets/income.
  • Enhance unhealthy behavior patterns. If one spouse is controling and the other is submissive, the last settlement might not be reasonable.
  • Fuel feelings. Mediation could increase unfavorable habits of a spouse with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples frequently hear about the marvels of mediation and how it is supposedly a much better, less controversial, less expensive and more “dignified” method to get a divorce. My most significant problem with mediation is that the sole function and objective of the arbitrator is to get the celebrations to come to a contract– any arrangement! Unless both celebrations can be relatively affordable 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 females.

Collaborative Divorce

Simply put, collective divorce takes place when a couple agrees to exercise a divorce settlement without litigating.

During a collaborative divorce both you and your other half will each hire an attorney who has been trained in the collective divorce procedure. The role of the lawyers in a collective divorce is quite various than in a standard divorce. Each attorney recommends and assists their client in working out a settlement arrangement. You will consult with your lawyer independently and you and your attorney will also consult with your partner and his lawyer. The collective procedure might also involve other neutral experts such as a divorce financial organizer who will help both of you resolve your monetary concerns and a coach or therapist who can help assist both of you through child custody and other emotionally charged issues.

In the collective process, you, your partner and your particular lawyers all must sign a contract that requires that both attorneys withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if litigation is threatened. If this takes place, both you and your husband must start all over again and find new attorneys. Neither party can utilize the very same lawyers again!

Even if the collaborative procedure is successful, you will generally have to appear in family court so a judge can sign the agreement. The legal process can be much quicker and less costly than conventional lawsuits if the collaborative procedure works.

Though, I have actually discovered that the collaborative method typically does not work well to settle divorces including complex financial situations or when there are substantial properties. In collective divorce, just as in mediation, all financial details (earnings, properties and liabilities) is disclosed voluntarily. Typically the hubby manages the “purse strings,” and the spouse is generally uninformed of the details of their financial circumstance. When this sort of inequality exists, the door is typically wide open for the husband to conceal assets. What’s more, lots of high net worth divorces include companies and professional practices where it is fairly easy to hide possessions and earnings. Additionally, the problem of assessment can be quite contentious.

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

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

  • You believe your husband is concealing assets/income.
  • Your partner is prideful, and you have difficulty speaking out or you hesitate to voice your opinions.
  • There is a history or hazard of domestic violence (physical and/or mental) towards you and/or your children.
  • You or your partner has a drug/alcohol addiction.

Litigated Divorce

The fourth divorce alternative is the most common. Nowadays, most of separating couples select the “standard” model of prosecuted divorce.

Bear in mind, though, “litigated” does not imply the divorce ends up in court. In fact, the huge bulk of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement agreement. “Litigation” is a legal term meaning ‘carrying out a suit.’

Why are suits a part of divorce? Because contrary to popular belief, divorce normally does not include 2 people mutually agreeing to end their marriage. 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 scenario right from the start and often disqualifies mediation and collaborative divorce, since both methods count on the full cooperation of both parties and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary information.

Plainly, if you are starting with an adversarial and highly emotionally charged situation, the possibilities are very high that partnership or mediation might stop working. Why take the threat of going those paths when chances are they might stop working, losing your time and money?

The most important and most challenging parts of any divorce are concerning an agreement on kid custody, department of possessions and liabilities and spousal support payments (how much and for how long). You desire your attorney to be an extremely knowledgeable mediator, you do not desire someone who is excessively combative, prepared to battle over anything and everything. An overly controversial technique will not only extend the pain and significantly increase your legal costs, it will also be emotionally detrimental to everyone included, especially the children.

Keep in mind: The majority of divorce attorneys (or a minimum of the ones I would recommend) will always make every effort to come to an affordable settlement with the other party. However if they can’t concern a sensible settlement or if the other party is entirely unreasonable then, sadly, litigating, or threatening to do so, might be the only way to deal with these problems.

If you have attempted whatever else, and you do wind up in court, things can get really nasty and hostile. Up up until that point both attorneys were “negotiators,” attempting to get the parties to jeopardize and concern some affordable resolution. As soon as in court, the role of each lawyer modifications. Negotiations and compromise transfer to the back burner. Their new task is to “win” and get the best possible result for their customer.

And don’t forget, when you’re in court, it’s a judge who knows extremely little about you and your family that will make the final decisions about your kids, your residential or commercial property, your cash and how you live your life. That’s a very big danger for both celebrations to take– which’s also why the danger of litigating is usually such an excellent deterrent.

Here’s my last word of suggestions about divorce options: Weigh divorce options thoroughly. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is various. Obviously, if you are able to work with your partner to make decisions and both of you are sincere and sensible, then mediation or the collective method might be best. However, if you have doubts, it is good to be all set with “Fallback” which would be the litigated divorce.

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