Divorcing? Did You Know You Don’t Have to Go to Court?

Divorces are often hard to deal with. Many people start their relationships based on love, mutual respect, admiration, and other good things. However, each party may become different over the years, causing them to drift apart and resulting in thoughts of a divorce. Whether you are considering a divorce or you have been served divorce papers, the pill is a hard one to swallow. As part of your considerations, your financial state is one. Many people do not know how much a divorce can cost them until they have stepped into one. Before making any rash decisions, especially when handling cases of divorce where child support is involved, you need to consult with your attorney.

Divorce lawyers are trained to represent their clients in all matters related to their divorce. Contrary to popular opinion, these legal professionals look out for their clients and help them find the most economical way to get a divorce. Speaking to your divorce lawyer will give you an idea of how much the process may cost you. You also get a chance to know how long the case may last. When you choose the traditional court divorce process, there is a high chance that you may end up spending much more than you imagined. If the other spouse has failed to agree to a settlement, the case may drag on for longer, and with this comes mounting legal bills.

If you are looking for affordable options to settle your divorce case apart from the traditional divorce process, below are some alternatives to explore.

Resolving Differences On Your Own

Getting into the institution of marriage was an agreement between you and your partner. However, seeing as you have grown apart, you can save money and time by agreeing on how you intend to end things. If you are truly interested in making the process fast and affordable, you should resolve your differences amicably and agree to a settlement schedule. Before proceeding with this, it is best to read up and familiarize yourself with the important topics associated with divorces. You’ll need more knowledge on important issues like property and debt division, child custody and visitation arrangement, child support, and alimony or spousal support.

Once you have agreed on these issues, you can look for a divorce lawyer to finalize the details of the case. Your divorce lawyer will read through the agreement and create a formal Property Settlement Agreement to be signed by both parties. Usually, this document contains important legal clauses that guide the agreed-upon terms.

Your lawyer can proceed to file the divorce document at the appropriate court. In some states, it is possible to go through such a divorce without showing up in court. Be sure to ask your attorney about the existing laws in your state and how it impacts your divorce.

Divorce Mediation

Mediation is one of the common alternatives to the traditional divorce process. Here, mediators are hired to help both parties reach an agreement. Mediators are trained professionals, usually lawyers, who assist warring partners in reaching a suitable and fair agreement. Each divorcing partner will provide the mediator information about the divorce as well as their interests. The mediator will go through the provided documents and meet with the partners as many times as possible to ensure a fair settlement.

Couples who choose to work with mediators usually find the process easier and faster than contested divorces. With mediation, sessions are usually informal and may take place in the divorce mediator’s office. Couples may choose to be present with or without their attorneys. Those who trust the mediation process can save money on hiring personal attorneys while trusting the mediator to strike a balance.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is similar to divorce mediation but does not require the services of a mediator. This approach to divorce and settlement agreements is on the rise in the United States. Couples in a collaborative divorce are required to participate in a four-way session that helps them reach their divorce goals. Attorneys experienced in this area of law often focus on helping the partners reach a settlement agreement. In most states, an attorney that has handled a collaborative divorce for a couple isn’t allowed to represent either of them at a later date in the same case.

With collaborative divorce, couples can expect to work together as a team to find a lasting and fair solution to the dissolution of their union. All of the participants are required to pull their weight and contribute to the resolution of issues raised. Common issues sorted during collaborative divorce include child custody and visitation arrangement, alimony or spousal support, child support, and asset or debt division.

Couples tend to trust this process better because all parties involved are neutral and agreed upon by both spouses. Partners who choose collaborative divorce are more likely to feel more comfortable with the outcome of the process. However, there are cases where the couple may be unable to reach an agreement. Such cases end up in court to be settled by a judge the traditional way.

Divorce Arbitration

Couples who want their divorce settled out of the normal court for privacy reasons may set up an arbitration where the arbitrator adjudicates the matter and arrives at a decision. An arbitration is similar to the regular court process in that there’ll be a trial before the judgment is pronounced.

An arbitration divorce will offer more benefits to couples over the regular court process. Some of these benefits include quick decisions, relaxation or tightening of the rules for the divorce, flexibility to set date, time, and duration of the arbitration process. While these advantages are enticing, please note that the decision reached by the arbitrator is final and cannot be appealed.

All of these options are available to you if you wish to go through a divorce without stepping foot in court. Speak to a divorce lawyer near you for more information.

Pedro Aylin
the authorPedro Aylin