If you and your spouse are heading for divorce court, you probably want to spend as little time there as possible.
One way to avoid lengthy court sessions and the accompanying battles is to choose collaborative divorce, and there are two options that may be of interest to you: mediation and arbitration.
How to collaborate
You are probably aware that traditional divorce involves litigation, which can become complicated and contentious. It is also costly. If you and your soon-to-be ex can work together on important issues, you may be able to avoid this kind of stressful ending to your marriage through collaborative divorce. For example, the goal of mediation is to use mutual agreement and open communication to settle differences. An impartial, trained mediator helps you and your spouse work through the issues and avoid conflict. If you choose arbitration, you and your spouse would turn over the issues you need to have resolved to an arbitrator, a third party who is an experienced family lawyer or perhaps former judge.
In a collaborative divorce, you exchange information voluntarily and eventually arrive at a settlement agreement that is mutually beneficial. Many couples appreciate the confidentiality afforded by mediation or arbitration. Experts also say the collaborative approach to divorce is easier on the children of the marriage and assists in preserving family relationships as you go through life.
When you marry, you do not plan to divorce, but sometimes a parting of the ways is the only logical solution for problems that develop over time. Mediation or arbitration may present the best solution, and your attorney will attend the sessions with you. Depending on what is involved, the agreement you seek can often be worked out in one meeting. In any case, you will find that as compared to litigation, collaborative divorce is a more “civilized” and economical way to end your marriage, and an important next step to the future for each of you.