A Better Understanding of Divorce Options

When a marriage is not working, many wonder what their divorce options are. There are multiple approaches to divorce, and our attorneys have years of experience with each method.

To get a basic understanding of each approach and to determine what works best for your specific situation, below is a summary of the three most popular methods:

Litigation

Litigation is the most common and well-known route to divorce. In a litigation matter, either both or one of the parties will retain an attorney and file the matter with a court. If amicable, the attorney will draft and negotiate a final agreement to be entered with the court.

If the situation is more contentious, the parties will likely go through the process of discovery (an organized exchange of information between the parties) during negotiation and could potentially go to hearings or a trial to come to a final resolution.

This option works well for parties who have already reached a full agreement amongst themselves and are ready to enter an agreement in court. This option is also for those who are not in agreement on many issues and will need attorneys and the court system to help them reach a resolution.

Mediation

In this route, the parties will jointly meet with a third-party mediator to discuss all major points of contention. The mediator will draft an informal Memorandum of Understanding which represents the agreement reached during mediation. At this point an attorney will take the information and draft the formal Marital Settlement Agreement to enter in court.

This option works well for parties who are fairly on the same page and willing to work together to reach an understanding outside of court. Even though parties may be on the same page an attorney should still advise during mediation.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a process in which you work with a team to resolve issues outside of court. The teams are made up of the parties, their attorneys, a coach, a financial neutral/advisor and a child specialist. Your team may not include all the professionals and is based on your needs.

During the process, the team will meet several times in a private office to reach a final resolution. Once the parties have come to an agreement, the attorneys will draft the final Marital Settlement Agreement and file it with the court. This option works well for parties who want to stay out of court and want to control the process themselves.

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