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The Four Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

No two marital relationships are the same, and so it just follows that no two divorces will be the same, either.

In fact, if you’re a lady who’s contemplating divorce, you have numerous alternatives about how to proceed. In general terms, you need to consider four 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 each one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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 economically. You can quickly make errors, and often those errors are permanent. The only scenario I can imagine when a Do-It-Yourself divorce might make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marriage lasted just 2 or 3 years and there are no kids, little or no assets/debts to be divided, equivalent earnings and no alimony. In a case like that, a Diy divorce could be accomplished quite quickly and inexpensively. Nevertheless, I would still highly suggest that each celebration have their own different lawyer evaluation the last documents.


In divorce mediation, a separating couple works with a neutral conciliator who assists both parties come to an agreement on all aspects of their divorce. Both celebrations still need to seek advice from with their own, specific lawyers throughout the mediation and prior to signing the final divorce settlement agreement.

Here are a few pros and cons to think about before choosing if mediation will work for you.

On the “pro” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Result in a much better long-term relationship with your ex-husband given that you will not “fight” in court.
  • Be much easier on kids given that the divorce proceedings might be more serene.
  • Expedite an arrangement.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Help you stay in control of your divorce since you are making the decisions (and the court isn’t).
  • Permit more discretion. Mediation is personal; prosecuted divorce is public.

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

  • Lose time and cash. If negotiations fail, you’ll need to start all over.
  • Be insufficient or unduly beneficial to one partner. If the conciliator is unskilled or biased towards your partner, the result could be unfavorable for you.
  • Lead to an unenforceable agreement. A mediation agreement that’s uneven or badly prepared can be challenged.
  • Lead to legal problems. Any concern of law will still require to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to uncover certain assets. Considering that all monetary details is voluntarily revealed and there is no subpoena of records, your hubby might possibly hide assets/income.
  • Enhance unhealthy habits patterns. If one partner is controling and the other is submissive, the last settlement may not be reasonable.
  • Fuel emotions. Mediation could increase negative habits of a partner with a propensity for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples frequently find out about the wonders of mediation and how it is reportedly a much better, less contentious, less expensive and more “dignified” way to get a divorce. Nevertheless, my biggest problem with mediation is that the sole function and objective of the arbitrator is to get the parties to come to an arrangement– any contract! Remember, the arbitrator can not give any guidance. All they can do is attempt to get you to concur. Not all contracts are good contracts, and in truth, in numerous cases, no contract is better than a bad agreement. So unless both parties can be relatively sensible and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting separated???), I think that mediation is typically not a viable choice for most females.

Collective Divorce

Basically, collaborative divorce occurs when a couple accepts exercise a divorce settlement without litigating.

Throughout a collective divorce both you and your other half will each hire an attorney who has been trained in the collective divorce process. The function of the lawyers in a collaborative divorce is quite different than in a traditional divorce. Each lawyer advises and assists their customer in working out a settlement contract. You will meet with your attorney individually and you and your attorney will likewise consult with your hubby and his lawyer. The collective procedure may also involve other neutral professionals such as a divorce financial organizer who will assist both of you resolve your financial problems and a coach or therapist who can help direct both of you through kid custody and other emotionally charged concerns.

In the collaborative process, you, your other half and your respective attorneys all must 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 other half should begin all over again and discover new attorneys. Neither celebration can use the very same attorneys once again!

Even if the collaborative process achieves success, you will normally need to appear in family court so a judge can sign the arrangement. But the legal process can be much quicker and less expensive than conventional litigation if the collaborative procedure works.

Though, I have actually discovered that the collaborative approach typically doesn’t work well to settle divorces including complex financial scenarios or when there are significant properties. In collective divorce, simply as in mediation, all monetary info (earnings, properties and liabilities) is revealed willingly. What’s more, lots of high net worth divorces involve companies and professional practices where it is fairly easy to hide properties and earnings.

… 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 hubby is concealing assets/income.
  • Your partner is imperious, and you have difficulty speaking out or you hesitate to voice your viewpoints.
  • There is a history or danger of domestic violence (physical and/or psychological) towards you and/or your children.
  • You or your hubby has a drug/alcohol addiction.

Litigated Divorce

The fourth divorce alternative is the most typical. These days, the majority of separating couples select the “conventional” model of litigated divorce.

Remember, though, “prosecuted” does not imply the divorce winds up in court. The large bulk of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement agreement. “Litigation” is a legal term significance ‘performing a claim.’

Why are lawsuits a part of divorce? Since contrary to common belief, divorce usually does not include 2 individuals mutually consenting to end their marriage. In 80 percent of cases, the decision to divorce is unilateral– one party desires the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, produces an adversarial circumstance right from the start and often disqualifies mediation and collaborative divorce, considering that both methods count on the full cooperation of both parties and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary information.

Plainly, if you are beginning with an adversarial and highly emotionally charged circumstance, the opportunities are very high that collaboration or mediation might stop working. Why take the risk of going those paths when chances are they might stop working, losing your money and time?

The most essential and most difficult parts of any divorce are concerning an arrangement on kid custody, department of assets and liabilities and spousal support payments (just how much and for how long). You want your attorney to be a highly knowledgeable negotiator, you do not want somebody who is excessively combative, all set to fight over anything and whatever. An overly controversial technique will not only lengthen the discomfort and substantially increase your legal costs, it will also be mentally destructive to everyone involved, especially the children.

Remember: The majority of divorce attorneys (or a minimum of the ones I would recommend) will always aim to come to a sensible settlement with the other celebration. However if they can’t concern an affordable settlement or if the other party is totally unreasonable then, regrettably, going to court, or threatening to do so, might be the only method to deal with these problems.

If you have actually attempted everything else, and you do wind up in court, things can get truly nasty and hostile. Up until that point both lawyers were “negotiators,” trying to get the parties to jeopardize and concern some sensible resolution. Once in court, the function of each lawyer changes. Settlements and compromise relocate to the back burner. Their new task is to “win” and get the very best possible outcome for their customer.

And do not forget, when you remain in court, it’s a judge who understands really little about you and your family that will make the decisions about your kids, your residential or commercial property, your money and how you live your life. That’s a huge danger for both celebrations to take– and that’s likewise why the threat of going to court is usually such an excellent deterrent.

Here’s my last word of guidance about divorce alternatives: Weigh divorce choices carefully. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is different. Obviously, if you are able to deal with your hubby to make decisions and both of you are sincere and affordable, then mediation or the collective approach may be best. If you have doubts, it is great to be all set with “Plan B” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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