I want to get a divorce. What are my options?

When couples with children divorce, the process can directly affect the young ones. Stress associated with ending a marriage cannot be totally avoided; however, there are some options, depending on the circumstances, which can alleviate some of the pressure.

There are several ways to approach a divorce. The two main ways to proceed are via negotiation or litigation. A negotiated divorce could potentially reduce some of the strain associated with traditional litigation. This type of divorce might involve one of the following strategies:

Mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process where disputants meet with a neutral mediator and flesh out the issues associated with the dissolution of marriage. Instead of a judge, parties work with the facilitator to create their own unique post-marriage plan - one that meets the needs of the particular family.

Cooperative divorce. Another option is cooperative divorce. Disputants are often represented by attorneys in this resolution process. In this strategy, lawyers work together through settlement negotiations and help the parties reach a decision that is amicable. This process, like mediation, does not involve a courtroom.

Should you pursue negotiation or traditional litigation for your divorce?

If you are unsure whether litigation or a form of negotiation is best for your family, you should consider some important points.

First, if you and your spouse are unable to communicate, a negotiation-based approach might not work. The processes involve fleshing out issues, and if parties are not getting along at all, it may be difficult.

Second, would you like to lower costs? If this is the case, negotiation might be better. Administrative court expenses can draw out a process and tack on extra money to the final resolution. If you want a more affordable option, negotiation may be for you.

Finally, you should consider your future. If you are ready to move on (in perhaps a new relationship), know that litigation can add extra time.Divorce proceedings can be drawn out for several months - even years. If you desire an expedited process, negotiation might be a better option.

The best thing to do is contact a qualified divorce attorney in your area. A lawyer experienced with detailed family matters can help you select the most fitting process.

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