Can You Get Divorced Without Going To Court ?

Can You Get Divorced Without Going To Court ?

Before you decided to get married, you planned everything about your wedding. And yet after all the planning, there’s no foreseeing what the future will hold.  For some, the future of marriage is divorce. People don’t usually consider that just as a wedding is planned, a divorce can be planned as well. In other words, it does not have to be chaotic, stressful, and filled with endless battles.  Divorce can be a calm and amicable process.

To some, the thought of an amicable divorce may seem impossible, especially since most of the stories people hear about divorce are negative.   However, once you reach the point where you know that it is time to mark the end of your marriage you can begin the process of envisioning a seeing a new future in divorce.

The process of divorce is typically known to be exhausting, expensive, and sometimes, destructive. You’ve most likely heard of divorce second-hand or read about how awful it can be from many sources. Rarely, do you hear the stories of a positive outcome achieved through an amicable and calm process.

This is where alternative divorce resolutions comes in. Normally, when you think of divorce you think of a courtroom with judges, lawyers battling it out and emotions running high; nothing even remotely amicable.  However, alternative divorce resolution processes offer a healthier and constructive way to restructure a family outside the courtroom. This doesn’t mean that there will be no anger or pain or  that it won’t be difficult to end a marriage, but simply that there are alternatives to the highly contentious litigation model that are far more effective at dealing with those emotions.

Divorce is always hard, but Collaborative divorce and mediation are alternative divorce resolution options that foster an atmosphere of mutual agreement and encourage cooperation between parting couples.

How does Collaborative Divorce work?

Rather than pitting one side against the other in a “win/lose” litigation posture, the Collaborative divorce process involves a team of highly trained professionals, including two attorneys, a neutral financial expert and a mental health professional all working together, outside of a courtroom, to help the couple reach an agreement that is tailored to meet their specific circumstances and goals.

Parting Couples Must Mutually Agree To The Process

The couple must be in agreement that it is time to end the marriage. There simply cannot be an amicable resolution if both parties do not at least agree that all attempts to salvage the union have been made and it is time to get divorced.  Additionally, the couple  must agree at the outset not to litigate.  Once the fear of litigation is removed there is space created for open dialogue and compromise.

Parting Couples Must Hire A Collaboratively Trained Attorney.

Collaborative attorneys are trained to advocate for their clients in a non-adversarial manner that focuses on the needs of the family as whole, as opposed to seeking a “win” exclusively for their client. It is possible to advocate for the needs of your client without doing so at the expense of their soon to be ex. Collaborative attorneys are trained to conduct “interest based” as opposed to “position based” negotiations that result in “win/win” agreements.  When selecting a Collaborative attorney, it is important that he or she be highly trained and have experience handling Collaborative divorces.

Part of Your Team is a Collaboratively Trained Financial Expert

Every divorce involves financial issues to be resolved.  A collaborative team includes a certified divorce financial advisor who helps the couple identify their future financial needs and plan for a financial restructuring of the family in a manner that helps insure the financial security of everyone following this significant life change. When both parents are left in a financially secure position following divorce the children benefit exponentially.

Part of Your Team is a Collaboratively Trained Mental Health Expert

There is hardly any other life event more emotionally charged than divorce.  This is particularly true when there are children involved. The mental health professional on your team is highly trained in conflict resolution and child development and is far more qualified than any judge, or attorney, to help a couple resolve their differences and come up with a co-parenting plan that creates a peaceful and functional post -divorce relationship.

No Litigation Process

Once your team has been assigned, everyone signs a “Participation Agreement” agreeing  not to litigate. This includes a commitment to good faith and complete financial transparency.

If either you or your spouse decide that you would like to go into the litigation process, your team will be discharged and this will automatically end the Collaborative process. However, when interests are aligned at the beginning, the desire for a mutually beneficial resolution serves to keep everyone involved and at the negotiating table.  Once the couple, with the support of their team, reaches an agreement the chances of a peaceful co-existence post-divorce is high and the chances of future litigation are reduced.

Overall, Colaborative divorce is a positive and constructive process that helps a nuclear family transition into a bi-nuclear family with the least amount of financial and and emotional damage. If you would like more information on this approach to divorce we are available to provide you with answers to all of your questions. Divorce is one of life’s most impactful life events. You owe to your family to explore your options.


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Embrace the alternative.

For assistance with alternative divorce resolution, call us at 516.308.2922 for a confidential consultation. Let our 25 years of experience serve as a bridge to your future.