Divorce Mediation, Collaboration, Litigation and More.
Even when your marriage is coming to an end, you may still need to maintain a positive relationship with your ex-spouse. This is particularly true if you and your ex have children together. However, the stress and anxiety that comes along with adversarial court proceedings can make this extremely difficult, if not impossible. This is why you may want to pursue alternative means to obtaining your divorce, such as mediation or collaboration.
Mediation is one possible solution to amicably resolving your divorce. During mediation, a trained legal or mental health professional helps guide a couple in communicating and working through issues related to their divorce. Some of these matters include coordinating parenting schedules for any minor children as well as appropriately dividing the couple’s property. Both parties are advised to consult with their individual attorneys throughout the process. The mediator will then draft a final settlement agreement which can be filed with the court pursuant to a divorce.
Mediation is most appropriate for divorcing couples who have no major power imbalances or overly contentious issues, and who are committed to reaching an agreement without conflict. A major benefit of mediation is that it can be relatively inexpensive and may help improve communication between you and your ex-spouse. In addition, anything discussed in mediation is entirely confidential and cannot be used against you or your ex in the event the mediation is unsuccessful.
A collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial process conducted outside of the court system. In collaboration, both spouses agree that they intend to avoid litigation and will not use any information divulged in the process in the event litigation is required. The way collaboration works is that each party along with their respective attorneys conduct a series of face-to-face meetings to resolve all issues and reach a mutually agreeable settlement agreement.
The collaborative process is most beneficial for a couple that has just a few differences that need to be worked-out, but who want to avoid litigation and better develop their ability to communicate and co-parent. Some advantages of collaborative divorce include confidentiality and the opportunity to obtain substantial guidance and support throughout the process. And while collaboration costs more than mediation, is it usual much less costly than litigation.
Possibly the most common route to divorce, litigation involves using the court system to resolve contested issues, typically with the assistance of attorneys. Litigation can be necessary when one or both of the partners are unreasonable in their demands, or the couple cannot resolve issues through conversation and negotiation.
While it may be necessary, there can also be significant and unintended consequences of litigation. Aggressive legal actions can prolong the divorce process and generate greater costs and a degree of disorder. While the attorneys focus on zealous advocacy, the interests of the entire family may recede into the background. High-conflict divorce litigation can also lead to a highly contentious co-parenting relationship and set the stage for future litigation. Unfortunately, there are times litigation can not be avoided. By being mindful of the effect the divorce process can have on the entire family, litigation can be contained and will achieve resolution not otherwise attainable by less adversarial means.
With divorce becoming more and more common in our society, the options for separating and obtaining a divorce are growing. While the traditional litigation model is more familiar, consider whether collaboration or mediation may better suit the needs of you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Whatever route you decide to take, it is always best to meet with a qualified attorney before committing to a final divorce settlement agreement. The experienced divorce attorneys at DiPietro Family Law Group know the law and will protect your rights. Contact us to schedule a consultation today at (703) 370 – 5555 or visit our website.
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