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Your divorce does not need to go to court

Every divorce is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ending a marriage. If you are dreading the courtroom battles, then you will be happy to know there are alternatives to litigating your divorce. You may want to divorce through mediation or collaborative family law

These methods for divorcing may achieve the following:

  • Reduce your expenses
  • Expedite the process
  • Result in a more amicable relationship with your ex
  • Be easier for kids to handle

However, these methods are not perfect for everyone. If you are divorcing a highly adversarial spouse or you have a lot of complex assets, you may run into trouble. Here is a brief explanation of these two divorce strategies to help you decide if they are right for you.

Collaborative family law

A collaborative divorce happens when a separating couple agrees to use cooperative techniques to divorce instead of going to trial. Both people hire their own attorneys who sign a collaborative divorce contract. During the collaboration process, there is a series of meetings between both of the spouses and their respective lawyers who try to reach an amicable agreement. 

Divorce mediation

When divorcing spouses choose to mediate, there is a third-party mediator who acts as a completely neutral party. This is different than the collaborative law process in which separate attorneys still represent their own clients. Here is what a mediator does:

  • Assists both spouses in identifying important subjects to address in the divorce settlement
  • Acts as a peacemaker during negotiations when there are any disagreements
  • Suggests options and assists the couple in developing a mutually beneficial agreement

If you like the idea of a neutral party helping you through your divorce, then you may want to try mediation. However, even though these divorce strategies are often beneficial, they do not always work. You and your spouse should evaluate your needs and your situation carefully before making the choice.

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