Steps To Get a Divorce Without Going To Court
Family Law Attorney
Many people consider time in court to be one of the most distasteful aspects of getting a divorce. Fortunately, it is possible to skip this step by using alternative approaches outside of court, as an attorney, can explain.
Some states require couples to work with a mediator before filing divorce papers. This optional step may be beneficial in any instance if you and your spouse are open to resolving your issues with a neutral third party. In addition to avoiding court, mediation offers many benefits, including:
- An informal setting
- Lower costs
- Flexible outcomes
- Greater control
Mediation does not impose the opinions or decisions of a mediator. It promotes an open dialogue about all parties’ best interests. Spouses work toward an equitable and fair distribution of assets and agree upon child custody or visitation schedules without lawyers’ involvement.
This approach is similar to mediation in its goal of achieving a divorce settlement out of court. Unlike mediation, the process allows the participation of lawyers specializing in collaborative divorce proceedings to be present during all meetings. Depending upon the matters under discussion, this divorce procedure may also include property appraisers, financial advisors and child welfare representatives. Mediators may also help guide settlements, but if this is not achievable, the lawyers for both parties must formally disqualify themselves from representing either spouse in future court proceedings.
Spouses who do not think they can agree upon a divorce settlement but want to avoid court appearances may choose arbitration. In this scenario, the final decision regarding all points is made by an arbitrator whose judgment both parties agree to honor without a possibility for further negotiation. Spouses who choose arbitration can avoid unpredictable court schedules and determine various rules that they may be unable to dictate in a traditional court setting.
Although animosity often accompanies spouses’ decisions to divorce, this is not always the case. Many couples decide to part ways without a particular source of contention but a realization that they are not suitable for marriage. Spouses may also have personalities that are not contentious and prefer an amicable approach to the dissolution of their marriage. For such individuals, settling financial, property, and child custody matters privately and without external input can achieve the fastest and most favorable results.
The decision to get a divorce can be difficult, and winding up in court can exacerbate and needlessly extend an emotional time. Consulting with a knowledgeable divorce professional who can advise about alternative ways to dissolve your marriage is the best way to stay out of court.