Just like every couple, every divorce is unique. Some couples struggle to make it through the proceedings without arguing over every subject, while others manage to work together to create their divorce agreement. The way that the divorce proceedings are handled is not necessarily reflective of the quality of the divorcing couple’s relationship, but more telling of their communication skills. Divorce is bound to be an emotional and difficult life experience to go through and everyone responds to these feelings in their own way. Not all divorces require court intervention, and there are a few alternative dispute resolution options available to you and your spouse if you are planning on divorcing.
Some divorcing couples have excellent communication skills and think it would be best to work together to create their divorce agreement. For those who are able to compromise when necessary and work through any disputes without court intervention, divorce mediation may be a good option. In mediation, a couple creates a divorce agreement with the help of a third-party mediator. The mediator does not act as either party’s attorney or legal representative, though many mediators are also attorneys. This neutral third party will provide suggestions to the couple and keep them on task, resolving any minor disagreements that may arise throughout the process. Mediation allows the couple to have complete control over their divorce agreement, including any determinations regarding property division, spousal maintenance payments, child custody arrangements, and more.
This is the another common type of divorce proceeding that couples pursue, allowing each spouse to have their own legal representative while still negotiating with their former spouse. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses will meet with their prospective attorneys, outside of court, to come to a settlement on the various terms of their divorce agreement. This type of divorce ensures that each party’s needs are being advocated for by their own attorney while also keeping the decisions out of the hands of a judge. Divorce mediation can sometimes lead to one spouse taking advantage of the other by suggesting terms that they know are unfair or by using their relationship dynamic, with one spouse holding more decision-making authority than the other, for their benefit. Collaborative divorce avoids these possibilities, though the spouses may be best to seek an alternative route if they are still unable to come up with a settlement on their agreement....