For those coming to a realisation that the marriage is ending, you’re probably racking your brains on the best way to wrap everything up legally so that you can proceed to ‘recovery’ both emotionally and financially from your potential former spouse.
But what actually happens from here? How you approach divorce will depend on your individual situation. Fortunately, most states and divorce lawyers offer a few options to try and find the easiest method of a divorce settlement that, once approved through the court, legally terminates your marriage.
MEDIATED DIVORCE CONTRACTS
A mediated divorce is a viable option for couples that can speak with each other amicably and agree on most of the main issues as well as in marriages that do not involve complicated child custody or complex financial issues. In a mediated divorce, the two spouses work with a mediator (often an experienced family lawyer) who assists the parties to negotiate the settlement and reach a divorce agreement. The mediator does not decide upon the result but works together with the parties to reach a resolution.
If you think you and your spouse can effectively interact to work out divorce terms, you could reap the benefits of this approach. Mediation costs much less than engaging in court battles plus the decision and approval through the courts is significantly quicker than with traditional divorce cases in court.
COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE CONTRACTS
In a collaborative divorce, each spouse hires a qualified collaborative family lawyer who agrees to participate in a collaborative divorce process, rather than an adversarial one (as per contested divorce situations). Both family lawyers have to be eager to do something to resolve the matter. In a collaborative divorce process, lawyers and their clients both work to appease the individual needs of the other party while trying to be fair and just to the result. It seeks the most favorable outcome for all parties (particularly the children).
CONTESTED DIVORCE SETTLEMENTS
Contested divorce settlements are the kind of divorce that’s regularly in news reports with celebrities ‘out for blood’. Unfortunately, these types of divorces occur in the real world too and generally take place when the two spouses aren’t able to concur on important issues. In the contested divorce, each spouse hires an individual attorney to represent their interests in an adversarial contest.
A contested divorce may be necessary for situations where:
- A child custody arrangement cannot be formulated
- There is a quarrel about how property or financial assets need to be split
- The marriage was abusive
When you are associated with a contested divorce, you will need a lawyer who is experienced with divorce litigation, that you trust, and who are able to best represent your interests.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
We’ve helped thousands of separating couples and have a focus on Collaborative practice. Ian Field is a highly experienced mediator and has conducted many hundreds of family law cases, including in a capacity as an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL).