Today, divorce is no longer the exclusive bailiwick of family law courts. Many couples, especially if they enjoy a fairly civil relationship, choose alternative dispute resolutions to achieve their objectives, citing a willingness to move quicker than many courts are able to. The following are some of the options divorcing couples may have. A divorce lawyer can evaluate your case and explain which option is best for you.
Divorce mediation is not for everyone – it is especially unsuited for couples who are unable to put aside the acrimony they have for each other. But if you and your spouse are able to talk and be in the same room, it can be a fresh approach. Every state sets its own rules on whether or not mediators are required to be licensed and what types of requirements and prohibitions they must abide by.
There are many advantages to mediation, assuming it is an option for you, aside from time. It is generally accurate to say that mediation is much less confrontational than courtroom proceedings since the two of you are technically on the same side. This can also help make the process of divorce easier on any children you may have, as well; studies have shown that acrimonious courtroom divorces are among the toughest experiences for minor children to live through.
Another common method of alternative dispute resolution used nowadays is collaborative divorce. While it is not as frequently used as mediation, collaborative divorce is somewhat similar in that it occurs outside the courtroom, and it involves enlisting third parties to help you and your spouse work out an arrangement in regard to assets, custody, and the like.
The major difference is that instead of one neutral mediator, a team of professionals is engaged to help both you and your spouse. This team may include a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), psychiatrist, business valuation expert, or anyone whose expertise may be helpful.
Something important to keep in mind is that if an agreement cannot be reached with the team of professionals and attorneys you choose, the attorneys are required by law to withdraw from the process. The reason for this has to do with privilege concerns – namely, if either spouse decides to forego another attempt at collaborative divorce and instead go to court, all the information the attorney was privy to during the negotiations would not be privileged. It would put the moving spouse at an unfair advantage. Thus, the law requires a change of counsel.
Ask An Experienced Legal Professional
A courtroom is generally a place most people try to avoid at all costs, and that includes during a divorce. If you are interested in exploring alternative dispute resolution, having a knowledgeable attorney on your side is the first step. Contact a skilled divorce lawyer to learn more.