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The 4 Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

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

In fact, if you’re a lady who’s pondering divorce, you have numerous options about how to proceed. In general terms, you need to think about four broad categories of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of every one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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

The only circumstance I can imagine when a Do-It-Yourself divorce might make any possible sense, may be in a case where the marriage lasted only two or three years and there are no children, little or no assets/debts to be divided, similar incomes and no alimony. In a case like that, a Do-It-Yourself divorce might be accomplished rather quickly and cheaply.


In divorce mediation, a separating couple works with a neutral arbitrator who helps both parties come to an agreement on all aspects of their divorce. Both parties still need to seek advice from with their own, specific lawyers during the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement contract.

Here are a few benefits and drawbacks to consider before choosing if mediation will work for you.

On the “pro” side, divorce mediation might:

  • Lead to a much better long-lasting relationship with your ex-husband since you will not “fight” in court.
  • Be easier on kids since the divorce procedures may be more peaceful.
  • Expedite a contract.
  • Reduce expenses.
  • Assist you remain in control of your divorce because you are deciding (and the court isn’t).
  • Permit more discretion. Mediation is private; prosecuted divorce is public.

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

  • Waste time and cash. If negotiations stop working, you’ll need to begin all over.
  • Be incomplete or unduly favorable to one partner. If the mediator is inexperienced or prejudiced towards your husband, the result could be unfavorable for you.
  • Lead to an unenforceable arrangement. A mediation arrangement that’s uneven or improperly drafted can be challenged.
  • Lead to legal complications. Any problem of law will still require to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to uncover specific assets. Considering that all financial details is voluntarily disclosed and there is no subpoena of records, your hubby might potentially conceal assets/income.
  • Reinforce unhealthy behavior patterns. If one spouse is controling and the other is submissive, the final settlement might not be reasonable.
  • Fuel feelings. Mediation might increase negative behavior of a spouse with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples frequently find out about the marvels of mediation and how it is apparently a better, less contentious, cheaper and more “dignified” method to get a divorce. Nevertheless, my most significant issue with mediation is that the sole role and goal of the mediator is to get the parties to come to an arrangement– any contract! Keep in mind, the mediator can not offer any advice. All they can do is try to get you to concur. Unfortunately, not all contracts are good arrangements, and in fact, in a lot of cases, no arrangement is better than a bad agreement. So unless both parties can be relatively affordable and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting divorced???), I think that mediation is generally not a feasible alternative for the majority of women.

Collaborative Divorce

Simply put, collaborative divorce occurs when a couple consents to work out a divorce settlement without going to court.

Throughout a collaborative divorce both you and your husband will each work with an attorney who has been trained in the collective divorce process. The function of the lawyers in a collaborative divorce is rather various than in a traditional divorce.

In the collective procedure, you, your husband and your respective attorneys all must sign an arrangement that requires that both lawyers withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if lawsuits is threatened. If this occurs, both you and your husband should begin all over once again and discover brand-new attorneys. Neither celebration can use the very same attorneys once again!

Even if the collaborative process achieves success, you will usually need to appear in family court so a judge can sign the agreement. However the legal process can be much quicker and more economical than standard litigation if the collective process works.

Though, I have actually found that the collective method often does not work well to settle divorces involving complex financial circumstances or when there are significant assets. In collective divorce, just as in mediation, all financial information (earnings, assets and liabilities) is disclosed voluntarily. What’s more, lots of high net worth divorces involve organizations and expert practices where it is reasonably easy to hide possessions and income.

So … as a general rule, my suggestion is this:

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

  • You suspect your spouse is hiding assets/income.
  • Your husband is prideful, and you have difficulty speaking up or you hesitate to voice your opinions.
  • There is a history or risk of domestic violence (physical and/or mental) towards you and/or your kids.
  • You or your husband has a drug/alcohol dependency.

Litigated Divorce

The fourth divorce choice is the most typical. These days, the majority of separating couples choose the “traditional” model of prosecuted divorce.

Keep in mind, though, “litigated” does not suggest the divorce ends up in court. The vast majority of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement contract. “Lawsuits” is a legal term significance ‘performing a lawsuit.’

Why are suits a part of divorce? Because contrary to common belief, divorce generally does not involve two individuals mutually consenting to end their marriage. 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, develops an adversarial circumstance right from the start and frequently disqualifies mediation and collective divorce, considering that both methods rely on the complete cooperation of both celebrations and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary details.

Clearly, if you are beginning with an adversarial and extremely mentally charged circumstance, the chances are very high that collaboration or mediation might fail. Why take the threat of going those routes when odds are they might stop working, wasting your time and money?

The most essential and most tough parts of any divorce are pertaining to an agreement on child custody, department of possessions and liabilities and spousal support payments (just how much and for the length of time). You desire your attorney to be a highly proficient arbitrator, you do not want somebody who is excessively combative, all set to combat over anything and whatever. An overly controversial approach will not only prolong the discomfort and considerably increase your legal costs, it will also be mentally destructive to everyone included, especially the children.

Keep in mind: Many divorce attorneys (or a minimum of the ones I would recommend) will always strive to come to an affordable settlement with the other celebration. If they can’t come to a sensible settlement or if the other party is completely unreasonable then, sadly, going to court, or threatening to do so, might be the only method to solve these problems.

Up up until that point both attorneys were “arbitrators,” attempting to get the parties to compromise and come to some sensible resolution. Once in court, the function of each attorney changes.

And do not forget, once you remain in court, it’s a judge who knows very little about you and your family that will make the final decisions about your children, your home, your cash 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 normally such a good deterrent.

Here’s my last word of suggestions about divorce alternatives: Weigh divorce options thoroughly. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is various. Undoubtedly, if you are able to deal with your other half to make decisions and both of you are truthful and sensible, then mediation or the collaborative approach may be best. But, if you have doubts, it is great to be ready with “Plan B” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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