You may have many more divorce process options in Kansas City than you realize, though many assume there is only one way to get a divorce. Collaborative Practice Kansas City, with offices serving the entire Kansas City metro area, is here to help you understand each option and determine which is best for your family.
Divorce Process Options In Kansas City
Divorce process options in Kansas City include do-it-yourself divorce, contested or litigation divorce, divorce mediation, and collaborative divorce. Each is unique, each has pros and cons, and not all options are appropriate for everyone.
In a do-it-yourself “pro se” divorce, you and your spouse represent yourselves before the court and do not hire attorneys. DIY is usually the most inexpensive of the divorce process options in Kansas City. It 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.
A DIY divorce can be difficult because 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. Additionally, the judge is not your attorney and is not allowed to provide you with legal advice if you have questions. If you have little experience with legal documents, vocabulary, and procedures, this can be extremely daunting.
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. A traditional litigated divorce is 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.
Contested divorce is a stressful process that typically breeds and reinforces feelings of insecurity and animosity. The “discovery” process itself can be lengthy, expensive and emotionally painful. It is usually the most expensive option, and people are often
dissatisfied with their litigated outcome, which can lead to further disputes and additional time in court.
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. Mediation is often less costly than other options and has the benefit of avoiding the stressful process of litigation. Divorce mediation can be used with or without attorneys.
If you use mediation without attorneys, you will both be responsible for preparing all the required forms for the court for the divorce to be legal and binding, which can be difficult without experience. You and your spouse must appear in court for your final hearing to have your agreement approved and the divorce judgment granted.
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. The professional team works with you to settle your case respectfully, transparently, and privately.
Collaborative divorce frequently requires less time, money, and emotional currency to be spent. It also 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.
The only caveat to collaborative divorce is that it only works with full, mutual disclosure by both parties, who are committed to working toward a fair and equitable agreement.