What should you not do during a custody battle? – Solent Family Mediation

If you are at the point of separation, or you are already separated or separated, mediation may help you concentrate on the future.

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The 4 Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

No 2 marriages are the same, therefore it just follows that no 2 divorces will be the same, either.

If you’re a woman who’s considering divorce, you have a number of options about how to proceed. In general terms, you need to consider 4 broad categories of divorce options: Do-It-Yourself (Do It Yourself), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of every one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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

Divorce is very complicated, both legally and economically. You can quickly make errors, and typically those mistakes are irreparable. The only circumstance I can envision when a Do-It-Yourself divorce may make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marital relationship lasted only 2 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 achieved quite quickly and cheaply. Nonetheless, I would still extremely advise that each party have their own different attorney evaluation the final documents.


In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple works with a neutral arbitrator who helps both parties come to an arrangement on all elements of their divorce. Both celebrations still require to seek advice from with 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 think about prior to choosing if mediation will work for you.

On the “professional” side, divorce mediation might:

  • Result in a better long-lasting relationship with your ex-husband considering that you will not “fight” in court.
  • Be much easier on kids because the divorce procedures may be more serene.
  • Speed up an agreement.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Assist you remain in control of your divorce due to the fact that you are making the decisions (and the court isn’t).
  • Allow for more discretion. Mediation is private; litigated divorce is public.

Nevertheless, on the “con” side, divorce mediation may likewise:

  • Lose time and money. If negotiations fail, you’ll require to start all over.
  • Be incomplete or unduly favorable to one spouse. If the mediator is unskilled or prejudiced towards your spouse, the result could be undesirable for you.
  • Result in an unenforceable contract. A mediation contract that’s lopsided or poorly drafted can be challenged.
  • Cause legal problems. Any issue of law will still require to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to uncover certain possessions. Because all financial information is voluntarily revealed and there is no subpoena of records, your partner could potentially conceal assets/income.
  • Reinforce unhealthy habits patterns. If one partner is controling and the other is submissive, the last settlement might not be fair.
  • Fuel feelings. Mediation might increase unfavorable behavior of a partner with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples often become aware of the marvels of mediation and how it is supposedly a much better, less controversial, less costly and more “dignified” method to get a divorce. However, my greatest issue with mediation is that the sole function and goal of the arbitrator is to get the celebrations to come to a contract– any arrangement! Keep in mind, the mediator can not give any recommendations. All they can do is attempt to get you to concur. Sadly, not all agreements are good agreements, and in fact, in a lot of cases, no arrangement is much better than a bad arrangement. Unless both celebrations can be relatively sensible and amicable (and if they can be, why are they getting divorced???), I think that mediation is typically not a feasible alternative for most women.

Collaborative Divorce

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

During a collaborative divorce both you and your hubby will each employ a lawyer who has been trained in the collective divorce process. The role of the attorneys in a collaborative divorce is quite different than in a conventional divorce. Each attorney recommends and assists their customer in negotiating a settlement agreement. You will meet your lawyer independently and you and your attorney will also meet your other half and his attorney. The collaborative process may also include other neutral specialists such as a divorce monetary coordinator who will assist both of you overcome your financial concerns and a coach or therapist who can help direct both of you through child custody and other mentally charged concerns.

In the collaborative process, you, your spouse and your respective lawyers all should sign an arrangement that needs that both lawyers withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if litigation is threatened. If this happens, both you and your hubby must begin all over again and discover new attorneys. Neither celebration can utilize the very same lawyers once again!

Even if the collaborative procedure is successful, you will normally have to appear in family court so a judge can sign the arrangement. But the legal process can be much quicker and less expensive than standard litigation if the collective procedure works.

Unfortunately, however, I have actually found that the collaborative approach frequently does not work well to settle divorces including complicated monetary scenarios or when there are considerable assets. In collaborative divorce, just as in mediation, all monetary info (earnings, assets and liabilities) is divulged voluntarily. Frequently the partner controls the “handbag strings,” and the wife is normally unaware of the information of their financial circumstance. When this kind of inequality exists, the door is typically wide open for the spouse to conceal assets. What’s more, many high net worth divorces involve companies and professional practices where it is relatively easy to hide properties and income. In addition, the concern of valuation can be quite contentious.

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

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

  • You think your spouse is concealing assets/income.
  • Your husband is aggressive, and you have problem speaking up or you’re afraid to voice your viewpoints.
  • There is a history or danger of domestic violence (physical and/or psychological) towards you and/or your kids.
  • You or your hubby has a drug/alcohol dependency.

Litigated Divorce

The fourth divorce option is the most typical. These days, most of divorcing couples pick the “conventional” design of prosecuted divorce.

Remember, 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 meaning ‘carrying out a suit.’

Why are lawsuits a part of divorce? Due to the fact that contrary to popular belief, divorce typically does not include 2 people mutually agreeing to end their marital relationship. In 80 percent of cases, the choice to divorce is unilateral– one party desires the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, produces an adversarial situation right from the start and frequently disqualifies mediation and collaborative divorce, because both techniques rely on the full cooperation of both celebrations and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary info.

Clearly, if you are starting out with an adversarial and extremely emotionally charged situation, the opportunities are really high that collaboration or mediation might fail. Why take the risk of going those paths when odds are they might fail, losing your money and time?

The most essential and most challenging parts of any divorce are coming to an agreement on kid custody, division of properties and liabilities and alimony payments (just how much and for the length of time). You want your lawyer to be a highly knowledgeable arbitrator, you do not desire somebody who is extremely combative, prepared to combat over anything and everything. An excessively controversial technique will not only lengthen the discomfort and substantially increase your legal charges, it will likewise be mentally harmful to everybody included, particularly the kids.

Keep in mind: Many divorce attorneys (or at least the ones I would suggest) will constantly make every effort to come to a sensible settlement with the other party. If they can’t come to a reasonable settlement or if the other party is totally unreasonable then, unfortunately, going to court, or threatening to do so, may be the only method to resolve these concerns.

Up until that point both attorneys were “arbitrators,” attempting to get the parties to compromise and come to some affordable resolution. As soon as in court, the role of each lawyer changes.

And do not forget, once you remain in court, it’s a judge who understands very little about you and your family that will make the final decisions about your children, your residential or commercial property, your money and how you live your life. That’s a very big risk for both parties to take– and that’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 choices carefully. If you have doubts, it is excellent to be ready with “Strategy B” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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