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Divorce without litigation

Contrary to popular perception, a divorce does not have to be messy. Divorce is rarely an easy process, but often the emotions engendered by the litigation process make the pain more intense. Furthermore, the stress, anger and pain involved in litigation is frequently transferred to children. There are alternate methods of divorcing that could leave the parties in better emotional and financial shape than enduring stressful and costly litigation.

Alternatives to litigating a divorce include a cooperative divorce, a collaborative divorce and mediation. Each of these methods requires spouses to come to the negotiation table, willing to communicate with each other. One of the advantages of using these alternative methods is keeping any uncomfortable secrets at the negotiation table and out of the public record. This benefit alone could convince spouses that communication is a good thing.

During a cooperative divorce both spouses have their own attorneys. These attorneys work together with the couple to achieve a settlement without entering a courtroom. A collaborative divorce requires a commitment from both spouses to keep the negotiations out of court. Professionals such as financial experts and attorneys help the divorcing couple attempt to resolve issues until a settlement is reached. Finally, mediation involves a neutral party helping the couple form an equitable plan.

Although divorce is never easy, these litigation alternatives may save the couple emotional strain. However, certain situations may still require formal proceedings. A person contemplating a divorce may wish to consult with an attorney that has experience in handling these types of matters. Such an attorney may be able to determine whether one of these non-litigation alternatives may be appropriate in a particular case.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Should I Negotiate or Litigate My Divorce?", Caroline Choi, September 25, 2013

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