Although divorce is often a difficult experience, understanding the processes ahead of you can alleviate stress. One of the biggest questions separating couples face is whether they need legal help, and if so, what kind. The good news is, you have options.
Two common out-of-court approaches to legally severing ties with your spouse are mediation and collaborative divorce. Depending on your situation, each route can have different advantages and disadvantages. What will work best for you will come down to your unique case and preferences.
What is mediation?
For the most flexible divorce option, mediation is a solution that many couples turn to disentangle their formerly-married lives. With this approach, a neutral mediator works with couples to come to an agreement. An attorney is optional but not required.
What is collaborative divorce?
Another flexible approach is collaborative divorce, though unlikely mediation, this route does involve legal representation. Despite having attorneys, both individuals and their attorneys sign an agreement to avoid court. Negotiations take place in four-person meetings.
What are the pros and cons of each approach?
When it comes to costs, both collaborative divorce and mediation can be significantly less expensive than going to court. With either process, saving money is a major advantage. For mediation, a unique upside is the control individuals have over proceedings, but on the downside, you may need to start over if you cannot resolve things without going to court. With collaborative divorce, having legal representation is a pro, while the requirement for your lawyer to withdraw if things do not work out can be a challenging disadvantage.
If you want to save on the costs of your divorce, one of these out-of-court solutions may work for you. Understanding the differences, pros and cons can help you make an informed decision.