Many people think that the only way to get divorced is by litigating the divorce in court. This isn’t necessarily true. While it is true that a judge will ultimately have to sign the divorce judgment before the divorce is final, the judge’s role can be limited to that signature. There are alternatives to litigating a divorce. The alternatives to litigation are as follows:
1. Sitting down and working everything out without any help: This is the cheapest way to get divorce. Unfortunately, it rarely works for a variety of reasons. This rarely works because divorce is emotional and there is too much anger. Another reason this does not work is that most divorces are too complicated for people to resolve without any help. If there are children and assets, this approach is not advisable. Professional assistance is needed for these cases. For couples with no children and no assets (other than personal property such as household furnishings and so on), this can work.
2.Negotiating with lawyers: Under this approach, each spouse hires his/her own lawyer and the lawyers negotiate a settlement. The negotiations can occur before or after one of the parties files for a divorce in court. The negotiations generally consist of letters between the attorneys. In other cases, the negotiations can consist of four way conferences with the attorneys and the spouses. This approach has a relatively high rate of success. Most cases settle before trial. The trick to this approach is that both sides need to hire reasonable and creative attorneys to work through the issues.
3. Collaborative divorce: Collaborative divorce is a method of dissolving a marriage whereby the lawyers for each of the spouses agree to help the parties resolve their issues using a cooperative approach instead of litigation. The goal is for the parties to resolve their issues without resorting to litigation or adversarial tactics. This is similar to #1 above, however, it is slightly different. Under the collaborative divorce approach, the parties and the lawyers sign a contract stating that if the case goes to litigation, the lawyers must withdraw from the case. This ensures that there is no incentive for the lawyers to commence litigation or drag things out.
4. Mediation: This is where a third party attempts to resolve the spouse’s issues. This works very well in some cases and can be a disaster in other cases. In cases involving domestic violence or cases whereby one spouse has far more experience negotiating than the other (this is common when one spouse has a great deal of business experience and the other doesn’t) mediation is not advisable.
If you are thinking about a divorce, you should consider all these options and decide which is best for you. For more information, you should call a New York Divorce Lawyer.