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The 4 Divorce Alternatives
No two marriages are the same, and so it just follows that no 2 divorces will be the same, either.
In fact, if you’re a lady who’s contemplating divorce, you have a number of choices about how to proceed. In general terms, you need to consider 4 broad categories of divorce options: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
The best recommendations I can provide you about Do-It-Yourself Divorce, is DON’T Do-It-Yourself!
Divorce is really made complex, both legally and financially. You can easily make errors, and frequently those errors are irreparable. The only scenario I can picture when a Do-It-Yourself divorce may make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marital relationship lasted only two or three 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 rather quickly and inexpensively. However, I would still highly recommend that each party have their own separate lawyer review the final documents.
In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple works with a neutral mediator who assists both celebrations pertain to an arrangement on all aspects of their divorce. The mediator might or might not be a lawyer, but he/she needs to be extremely fluent in divorce and family law. In addition, it is crucial for the conciliator to be neutral and not promote for either party. Both celebrations still need to talk to their own, specific attorneys during the mediation and prior to signing the final divorce settlement contract.
Here are a few advantages and disadvantages to think about prior to choosing if mediation will work for you.
On the “pro” side, divorce mediation may:
- Result in a better long-term relationship with your ex-husband because you will not “fight” in court.
- Be much easier on kids since the divorce procedures may be more peaceful.
- Expedite an agreement.
- Reduce costs.
- Assist you stay in control of your divorce because you are deciding (and the court isn’t).
- Permit more discretion. Mediation is private; litigated divorce is public.
However, on the “con” side, divorce mediation might also:
- Waste time and money. If negotiations stop working, you’ll require to start all over.
- Be incomplete or unduly favorable to one spouse. If the arbitrator is unskilled or biased towards your partner, the outcome could be undesirable for you.
- Result in an unenforceable arrangement. A mediation arrangement that’s uneven or poorly drafted can be challenged.
- Cause legal complications. Any problem of law will still need to be ruled upon by the court.
- Fail to reveal particular possessions. Since all financial info is voluntarily revealed and there is no subpoena of records, your hubby might possibly conceal assets/income.
- Strengthen unhealthy habits patterns. If one spouse is controling and the other is submissive, the last settlement might not be reasonable.
- Fuel feelings. Mediation could increase negative habits of a spouse with a propensity for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.
Couples typically hear about the marvels of mediation and how it is supposedly a much better, less controversial, less pricey and more “dignified” way to get a divorce. My greatest problem with mediation is that the sole role and goal of the mediator is to get the parties to come to an arrangement– any arrangement! Unless both parties can be relatively sensible and amicable (and if they can be, why are they getting divorced???), I think that mediation is normally not a feasible choice for the majority of ladies.
Put simply, collective divorce occurs when a couple consents to exercise a divorce settlement without going to court.
During a collective divorce both you and your partner will each work with an attorney who has actually been trained in the collective divorce process. The function of the attorneys in a collective divorce is rather different than in a standard divorce.
In the collective process, you, your partner and your respective lawyers all should sign an arrangement that needs that both attorneys withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if litigation is threatened. If this happens, both you and your spouse must start all over again and find new lawyers. Neither party can use the very same attorneys again!
Even if the collaborative procedure achieves success, you will typically have to appear in family court so a judge can sign the contract. The legal procedure can be much quicker and less costly than conventional litigation if the collective process works.
However, I have actually discovered that the collaborative approach often doesn’t work well to settle divorces including complex financial scenarios or when there are substantial properties. In collective divorce, just as in mediation, all monetary information (income, assets and liabilities) is divulged voluntarily. What’s more, lots of high net worth divorces include businesses and expert practices where it is reasonably easy to hide possessions and income.
So … as a basic guideline, my recommendation is this:
Do NOT utilize any of these very first 3 choices– Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce– if:
- You suspect your husband is hiding assets/income.
- Your husband is prideful, 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.
The 4th divorce option is the most common. Nowadays, most of separating couples select the “conventional” model of prosecuted divorce.
Keep in mind, though, “litigated” does not imply the divorce winds up in court. The large majority of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement arrangement. “Litigation” is a legal term significance ‘performing a lawsuit.’
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, produces an adversarial situation right from the start and often disqualifies mediation and collaborative divorce, since both approaches rely on the complete cooperation of both parties and the voluntary disclosure of all financial information.
Clearly, if you are starting out with an adversarial and highly emotionally charged circumstance, the chances are very high that partnership or mediation may stop working. Why take the risk of going those routes when chances are they might stop working, wasting your money and time?
The most important and most difficult parts of any divorce are pertaining to an agreement on kid custody, department of properties and liabilities and spousal support payments (how much and for the length of time). You want your attorney to be an extremely proficient arbitrator, you do not want someone who is overly combative, ready to battle over anything and everything. An excessively controversial technique will not just prolong the pain and significantly increase your legal fees, it will also be emotionally damaging to everybody involved, particularly the children.
Remember: Many divorce attorneys (or at least the ones I would advise) will always aim to come to a sensible settlement with the other celebration. But if they can’t come to a reasonable settlement or if the other celebration is entirely unreasonable then, unfortunately, going to court, or threatening to do so, might be the only way to fix these problems.
Up until that point both lawyers were “negotiators,” trying to get the celebrations to compromise and come to some affordable resolution. Once in court, the function of each attorney modifications.
And don’t forget, as soon as 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 kids, your home, your cash and how you live your life. That’s a huge danger for both parties to take– and that’s also why the threat of going to court is usually such a great deterrent.
Here’s my last word of advice about divorce alternatives: Weigh divorce options carefully. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is different. Obviously, if you are able to deal with your other half to make decisions and both of you are honest and reasonable, then mediation or the collaborative approach 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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