Faced with a broken marriage, many spouses reach a point at which they are ready to move on and file for divorce. The manner in which a divorce is processed is up to each couple. There are a number of different paths that can be taken, all with a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding their particular divorce needs can help a Florida couple choose a path that provides the best possible outcome.
One option involves taking a do-it-yourself approach to divorce. Under this approach, spouses simply sit down and hammer out the details of their agreement on their own, without legal counsel. While this option may seem more cost-effective at the onset, the end result can often be financially devastating to one or both spouses.
Another approach involves using mediation to resolve divorce differences. Under mediation, both parties agree to allow an impartial third-party mediator to determine the outcome of items of dispute. Negotiations can take place either in person or through attorneys, and issues that cannot be resolved between spouses are settled by the mediator.
Collaboration is yet another option, and one that works best for couples who agree on many of the issues within their divorce and want to avoid a lengthy or contentious legal battle. In collaboration, both sides retain their own legal counsel, but the role of those attorneys is to facilitate a collaborative solution, not to assume battle stances. Collaboration can be good fit for many couples, but is ill advised in situations where one partner is controlling or when there is a history of spousal abuse.
Finally, traditional litigation is the divorce process that most Florida residents are familiar with. This is a path that places spouses in an adversarial position. In the end, a judge ends up making a decision on items that the parties are unable to agree to on their own. While sometimes unavoidable, litigation is viewed as the least appealing of all available divorce options.
Source: thelegalintelligencer.com, “Four Basic Divorce Process Options to Consider“, Dawn S. Sunday, July 11, 2017