Not every couple is the same and not every divorce is the same. Before couples were permitted only one method, traditional litigated divorce. But the modern era as produced new methods of divorcing, to recognize that not everyone needs to rely on the adversarial courtroom to resolve their differences. This post will go over two of the four methods; the remaining two will be addressed by a follow-up post.
There are four ways to obtain a divorce:
- Do-it-yourself (DIY or uncontested divorce);
- Mediated Divorce;
- Collaborative Divorce;
- Litigated Divorce.
The DIY divorce means that you go through the process yourself. The DIY divorce can be contested or uncontested. The best piece of advice any lawyer can you give about DIY divorces is they are entirely do-it-yourself. If your divorce is contested, at all, you probably do not want to try this option. A single mistake can follow you around for your entire life.
DIY divorces are best if the divorce is uncontested. Uncontested means that both of you agree on the division of assets. But, divorces are rarely uncontested unless both parties own very little assets and have no children. If you have kids, a DIY is probably not a good idea.
Next, mediated divorces are the second-cheapest option. In a mediated divorce, the couple hires a person (it can be a lawyer) to represent both of them and help them come to a divorce. The mediator is better than DIY because the mediator can point out if the couple has missed something. Mediation is praised because it encourages the couple to work together.
But the operative phrase is “work together.” Mediated divorce does not work if either of you is emotional or angry about the divorce. Mediation can work, but both of you need to make it work. The instant negotiations break down; mediation is over, and you will need to hire your attorneys to complete the process.
There are many ways to obtain a divorce. A lawyer can go over each of these methods, the pros and cons of each one, to help you determine the best course of action for your relationship. The last thing you need to do is to try and parse the legal complexities of each of these methods. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; a lawyer can guide you through these issues.