Evaluating your divorce process options is an important step when you are considering divorce. Collaborative Practice Kansas City, with offices serving the entire Kansas City area, is here to help. Divorce process options include contested or litigation divorce, collaborative divorce, divorce mediation, and do-it-yourself divorce. All of your divorce process options are unique, each has pros and cons, and not every option is appropriate for everyone.
A contested divorce through litigation is the traditional process of bargaining from specific and often conflicting positions, backed by the intervention of an impersonal court of law.
- Best for situations such as abuse within the marriage or a level of distrust that doesn’t allow for full and fair disclosure of information.
- Many people are dissatisfied with their litigated outcome, which can lead to further disputes and additional time in court.
- It is a stressful process that typically breeds and reinforces feelings of insecurity and animosity.
- Can be extremely expensive.
In collaborative divorce, you have a team of professionals working with you to help you and your spouse and family transition using a goals and interests based approach rather than taking up opposing positions.
- Works to settle your case respectfully, transparently and privately.
- Frequently requires less time, money and emotional currency to be spent.
- Often results in greater satisfaction for divorcing couples, as well as healthier outcomes for children, so you are less likely to go to court in the future.
- Only works with full, mutual disclosure by both parties, and if both parties are committed to working toward a fair and equitable agreement.
In divorce mediation, you and your spouse use a neutral third party to assist you in reaching agreements that meet your needs and the needs of your children without the financial and emotional cost of a court battle.
- Can be less expensive than most other options.
- Avoids the stressful process of litigation.
- If you use mediation without attorneys, you both are responsible for preparing all the required forms for the court for the divorce to be legal and binding.
- You and your spouse must appear in court for your final hearing to have your agreement approved and the divorce judgment granted.
In a do-it-yourself “pro se” divorce, you and your spouse represent yourselves before the court and do not hire attorneys.
- Usually the most inexpensive of the divorce process options.
- Generally works well when you both agree on practically everything and your issues are very simple, such as in cases with little property and no children.
- You must either work out an agreement together or present your legal disputes to an impersonal court, following proper judicial procedure.
- No one will provide you with the legal documentation necessary to make your divorce legal and binding.
- Can be difficult if you have little experience with legal documents, vocabulary, and procedures.
For more help understanding your divorce process options, click here or call Collaborative Practice Kansas City at 913-380-2560.