Have you heard horror story after horror story from friends who have gone through a divorce? Did you come from a home where your parents had a high-conflict end to their marriage? Is this your second time splitting from your spouse?
No matter your situation, you may be nervous about getting divorced due to all the contention it often causes and the effects it has on your children. The good news is the traditional method of litigation (fighting in court) is not your only option. One of these alternative approaches may work better for your situation.
Mediation involves meeting with a neutral mediator to determine the terms of your divorce. You may still consult with an attorney to ensure the agreement is complete and fair, but your attorney will not participate in the mediation process. This option comes with many benefits and works best if you and your spouse are able to cooperate.
Collaboration entails you and your spouse meeting together with each of your lawyers to work out the divorce. It does not include any third parties or the court until you need to submit your agreement. This option is good for when you still want legal representation watching out for your best interest.
If you and your spouse cannot cooperate but you want to avoid litigation, you can try negotiation. It is similar to collaboration except only your lawyers meet to discuss what each of you wants in the divorce. This allows you to both stay out of the courtroom and out of each other’s presence.
If all else fails, there is always litigation. Choose a persistent but nonaggressive lawyer for a strong but non-hostile court battle. No matter which route you end up taking, you have the peace of mind that you did your best to make your divorce as civil as possible.