Alternatives to Litigation in Divorce
Too often in life, it seems that we leave the most important decisions to people we have never met. An important job application goes to an unseen HR director. A request for a loan is sent to an accountant in a far-off corporate office. Divorce doesn’t have to be handled in the same way. If you are ending your marriage, you don’t have to leave vital decisions about your family and finances to a judge.
At Kealy Law & Mediation Center, we offer litigation alternatives like divorce mediation and arbitration to individuals in Loveland and throughout Northern Colorado. To help you better understand your options, we’ve assembled this overview of divorce litigation alternatives:
Divorce on Your Own
To save money, some couples will attempt to file for a divorce without any litigation or legal help. This is rarely, if ever, a good option. No matter how much mutual agreement you have with your partner, divorce is a complicated matter. Dividing assets, determining child custody, and settling on any spousal support arrangements all require a skilled hand. The cost of a mistake will more than outweigh any lawyer fees.
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse assemble a small team of consultants and legal experts to help resolve issues specific to your case. This team will usually include an attorney, a therapist or divorce coach, and any other unaffiliated third parties. Through the course of several meetings, you can resolve all possible issues in a comfortable and open setting.
There are drawbacks to collaborative divorces, however. With all of the advisers involved, expenses can rack up in a hurry. Additionally, all of the involved meetings can take a lot of time. In some cases, a collaborative divorce can take just as long as the litigated process.
Divorce mediation offers a convenient and low-cost alternative to both litigation and collaborative law. In this process, a neutral third party attorney helps you and your partner settle all legal aspects of your divorce with no involved litigation. Many couples elect to retain their own personal attorneys in addition to the neutral mediator. At the end of the process, you submit an enforceable memorandum of understanding to the courts.
In many ways, mediation offers the best of both worlds as a divorce litigation alternative. You get the freedom to make your own decisions offered by a do-it-yourself divorce, with the necessary structure and legal knowledge of your divorce mediator. It is a more efficient, low-cost, and low-stress means on ending a marriage.
Similar to mediation, arbitration offers divorce resolutions without the time and expense of going to trial. In the case of this divorce option, however, a judge is replaced by an arbitrator who will listen to both parties’ arguments and issue a binding decision. In divorces utilizing arbitration, couples will typically have their own private legal counsel to assist in presenting their case to the arbitrator.
The breakup of a marriage is hard enough without having a long and drawn-out divorce. At Kealy Law& Mediation Center, we can help you find alternatives to divorce litigation that save you time, money, and anguish. To speak to one of our dedicated Loveland divorce mediation lawyers, contact us today.