As our readers know, many by experience, divorce can be a challenging thing to go through. A couple that has a lot of turbulence in their marriage will likely have some degree of turbulence in their divorce. Several factors can play into how badly the divorce goes, including the partners’ willingness to let go of past hurts and work out their differences, their desire to end a marriage on the best possible terms, and the willingness of each partner’s attorney to facilitate an amicable divorce.
Whether or not a couple chooses to litigate their divorce can make a big difference in how smoothly the process goes. This only makes sense, since litigation is an adversarial process in which parties seek to impose their rights over and against the wishes of one another. Chances are that couples who begin the divorce process with deep hurts will be unable to work things out and will have to resort to litigation. In some cases, though, couples who may be able to work things out through a negotiated divorce resort to litigation because they aren’t encouraged to negotiate.
Negotiated divorced can take several forms. One option is for each party to work with their own attorney to negotiate settlements for property division, child custody, spousal support and so on. It is possible to handle an entire divorce this way without needing to face one another in court.
Another option is mediation, in which a neutral mediator works out with both parties—both unrepresented—the details of their divorce, rather than getting a judge involved. Yet other options are for parties to agree to keep the divorce out of court, and to focus on resolving their differences privately with the help of professionals, including attorneys. Each approach has its benefits.
In our next post, we’ll continue looking at the issue of alternative approaches to divorce, particularly collaborative divorce.