Divorce process options provide alternatives to a public trial. When you’re getting divorced in Kansas City, especially when you have children, you may want to consider other divorce process options. Avoiding a trial can prevent additional stress and anxiety, and can also save you time and money.
Only a judge can grant a divorce, so unless you and your spouse can come to an agreement on all the issues, you’ll have to go to court and let a judge decide the issues. You will both be expected to attend settlement and pre-trial conferences. In addition, you’ll pay court costs, for discovery, expert witnesses and other expenses in a contested divorce. Depending on how long it takes to work through the court system, from start-to-finish, the costs can be exorbitant. Avoiding financial ruin is a very strong reason to look for better divorce process options.
There are three alternatives to a litigated divorce – collaborative divorce, mediation, and do-it-yourself divorce. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the four divorce process options. Here is a brief break-down of your choices other than traditional divorce.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce. Probably the best that can be said for choosing this option is DON’T. Most people don’t have knowledge of divorce laws, nor how the court system works. Divorce is complicated, and mistakes can be irreversible. In extreme cases, do-it-yourself divorce might work, such as if there are no children, the marriage was very brief and there are no assets or debts to be divided. Even then, you both should still retain your own attorney to review the final documents. This is the least favorable of divorce process options.
Mediation involves working with a neutral third-party mediator with specific training. You will each need your own attorney before signing a final settlement agreement. Mediation is one of the divorce process options that can work quite well, although it may not be ideal for everyone. With mediation you both respectfully communicate, avoiding conflict. It’s better for your children, it is private, takes less time, is less costly, and you are in control. However, if you are unable to reach an agreement, you’ll need to start over.
With collaborative divorce, you and your spouse agree to work together to reach a settlement agreement out of court. You each will need to hire an attorney trained in collaborative divorce, who will advise and assist each of you. It will involve other neutral professionals including a financial adviser and a neutral coach, who help with parenting, emotions and your finances. This is perhaps the most effective of the divorce process options. You will usually have to appear in family court when the judge signs the final agreement, but the legal process can be much quicker and less expensive than traditional litigation.
Collaborative Practice is a community of independent professionals offering divorce process options for resolving conflict. Our Attorneys represent client goals and interests, working as a team toward mutual satisfaction. Our Financial Professionals help gather financial information related to assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Our Mental Health Professionals focus on communication, problem-solving skills, and development of a parenting plan, if applicable.
To understand what divorce process options suit your specific situation, contact us today.
Collaborative Practice Kansas City, LLC