What are divorce alternatives? What are my options for divorce?

WI divorce agreement legal paperworkYour divorce doesn’t have to be like the hostile contentious divorce proceedings you see on TV. There are other options to the traditional litigated divorce; both options are confidential and can save you money and time during the very stressful divorce process. If you decide that mediation or a collaborative divorce is right for you, contact a local lawyer with experience in both areas.

Mediation

Mediation is a legal process facilitated by a neutral third-party, the mediator. During mediation, the couple meets with the mediator to come to a mutual agreement in all important areas, such as finances and property. For the process to work, the couple needs to be able to agree without a significant amount of dispute (which may mean this is not right for all couples). All resolutions are agreed upon by both spouses, meaning they control the outcome; there are no rulings made by outside parties.

Mediation is completely confidential, both now and in the future. Both members of the couple schedule meetings when they are available, instead of receiving summons from the court system with pre-scheduled, often inconvenient times. Because of these advantages, the overall mediation process can cost less than a litigated divorce.

Collaborative Divorce

If there are areas of dispute, a collaborative divorce may be the answer. During a collaborative divorce, each spouse retains a lawyer who is present at all meetings. The lawyers and spouses set the meetings to discuss important areas, and may bring in experts to resolve issues (such as an accountant or child custody specialist). In a collaborative divorce, there is some time spent in a courtroom but that time is minimal because major issues have been decided.

Just like mediation, a collaborative divorce is confidential with a few exceptions. Your lawyer can outline those exceptions if you decide a collaborative divorce is in your best interest. The final judgment is a matter of public record.

Similar to mediation, a collaborative divorce can be less expensive that a litigated divorce. For the most part, the meetings are scheduled at times that work for both parties until the final time in court (which is scheduled by the court).

If you are interested in mediation or a collaborative divorce, contact a local lawyer with experience in family law. A lawyer can guide you through whatever process is right for you and your family.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

Collaborative Divorce FAQ’s

typewriter typing divorce agreement after collaborative divorceContrary to popular opinion, ending your marriage is not a ‘one size fits all’ process—and not just because each couple has different finances and family situation.  The process getting from the decision to file to the final divorce judgment is different as well.  For some couples, mediation is the right answer because they feel they can come to a mutual decision on all major issues with some guidance.  In a more acrimonious situation, going to court is the only way to settle important issues for the final divorce judgment.  If you feel you and your spouse need a process somewhere in the middle, collaborative divorce may be the right process for your divorce.

What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a hybrid of mediation and litigation.  In a collaborative divorce, each spouse has their own lawyer (who has experience and expertise in a collaborative divorce). The couple and their respective lawyers meet together to come to an agreement on major issues (i.e. finances, custodial, etc.) As needed, other experts also come to the meetings as well. These experts could include an accountant, child custody specialist, or other party.  With collaborative divorce, there is some time spent in a courtroom but that time is minimal because major issues have been decided.

Can a collaborative divorce save money?

A collaborative divorce can be less expensive than going to court for your divorce.  It can also be more convenient and take less time because you are scheduling the appointments rather than waiting for the next court date.

Is a collaborative divorce confidential?

An advantage of a collaborative divorce is the ability to keep everything confidential up to the final judgment.  There are exceptions; the best way to find out more is to ask your divorce attorney for information. The final judgment is a matter of public record.

How do I initiate a collaborative divorce?

If you are interested in a collaborative divorce, contact a local divorce attorney with experience in this area. Ask the attorney for more information about the possibility of a collaborative divorce at your initial consultation.  They can guide you through the process, and answer any questions you may have.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.