Want to Avoid Divorce Litigation: Explore Alternative Divorce Methods

In many divorces, conflicts may arise. There are always legal and financial disagreements between spouses. There is tension when a spouse weighs their needs and wants against those of their spouse. Such a conflict is at the center of every divorce; however, spouses can resolve them without a legal brawl.

When couples think about divorce, many of them assume that such a conflict needs to be resolved in court. While divorces can be painful, spouses have options to resolve their differences and issues without court intervention. If you are planning to file for divorce, consult a divorce attorney from The Harris Firm to know your options.

Alternative Divorce Methods

Below are alternative divorce methods you should explore if you want to avoid litigation:

  • Collaborative divorce. With this legal process, you and your spouse can negotiate your divorce terms without fighting in court. Typically, collaborative divorce is a mix of negotiation and mediation to achieve agreements on issues like child custody, property division, child support, and alimony. If you want to pursue this type of divorce, seek legal counsel and representation. When picking a lawyer, look for one who will facilitate a collaborative divorce. Some lawyers are focused on litigation, but an attorney who has significant experience in alternative divorce options can help you achieve win-win settlements.

At the start of a collaborative divorce, every spouse will sign an agreement. If a spouse chooses to litigate a matter, the attorney for either party can withdraw. But a no-court agreement can usually offer an incentive for every party to work through tough issues together. When a couple reaches a settlement through collaborative divorce, they will submit it to the court for approval. A family judge will then review the settlement to determine its fairness and reasonableness to both parties.

  • Divorce Mediation. If litigation is already involved in a divorce, spouses can choose mediation. This process can help them avoid a judge or jury making a final divorce-related decision. In mediation, a neutral third party will facilitate the process. A skilled mediator can help the spouses sort out their differences and resolve their disagreements. But this process will not work if the two spouses are not willing to seek solutions without court intervention.
  • Arbitration. This process is more formal than collaborative divorce or mediation. However, it is less formal than court trials. It is participated by an arbitrator, a neutral third party. But unlike collaborative law or mediation, arbitrators can make legally binding decisions. The judgment of an arbitrator in binding arbitration is final.

Benefits of Alternative Divorce Methods

Alternative divorce methods are focused on collaboration and cooperation. Traditional divorce litigation has an adversarial nature that can exacerbate family conflicts and rifts. Sadly, this can leave the kids dealing with the negative consequences. But with alternative methods such as collaborative divorce and mediation, the spouses have control over the outcomes of their divorce.

In addition, alternative methods can save spouses a significant amount of money. Such an aspect is especially beneficial to those who are willing to compromise because it gets rid of court costs and reduces attorney’s fees. Also, alternative methods offer the spouses more privacy than courtroom litigation. Because of judicial transparency laws, case filings and records are made available to the public. Meanwhile, the details of alternative divorce methods are kept private. This also lets the spouses involved to be more candid as they know that their affairs will not be made open to the public.

If you are going through a tough divorce, an experienced divorce attorney may be able to help you sort through your issues. A good attorney to work with has extensive experience in litigating and negotiating for their clients for different matters that concern family law.

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