It is not uncommon for divorcing couples to have different perspectives concerning divorce-related issues such as property division, child custody and child support. Divorcing couples, however, despite the emotions and disputes that can sometimes arise during divorce, likely have a better idea of what is best for their family than the court generally will, and they may be able to resolve disputes amongst themselves in less time and at less cost. Fortunately, the family law process provides different approaches to divorce so couples looking to dissolve their marriage can choose the option that is best for their family.
Divorce mediation is one option that may allow a couple to avoid a hotly-contested divorce process. Through the mediation process, a neutral party helps couples resolve contested issues and reach outcomes agreeable to all parties involved. Mediators do not make decisions for the couple but oftentimes facilitate a smoother decision-making process for the couple to resolve their disputes. The overall purpose of mediation is to create more peaceful and amicable resolutions, which can be better emotionally and financially, as well as more efficient. Mediation does not have to be an all-or-nothing process. If a divorcing couple is able to reach resolution at mediation on some issues and not others, they are still able to present their unresolved issues to the court.
Collaborative divorce is another approach divorcing couples may wish to consider. A collaborative divorce involves the help of various professionals, such as divorce coaches, attorneys, and financial experts, through the divorce process. A collaborative divorce is unique in the sense that the parties sign a contract not to go to court and if negotiations break down, certain steps in the process are followed.
Regardless of how couples choose to proceed with their divorce, remaining committed to resolving disputes should be a high priority. While couples can seek help from the court to resolve these matters, they are also permitted, and encouraged, to reach agreements out of court. Remaining focused on resolutions, and the process that best supports fair resolutions, can be easier on everyone in the long run.
Source: California Courts, "Resolve Your Divorce or Separation Out of Court," Accessed Oct. 24, 2015