As alternative to the traditional way of settling divorce, which is through the courts, are a number of other divorce procedures that offer lots of advantages. One of this is the do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce, the procedure appropriate for childless couples whose marriage has lasted for about a year or two and who do not need to settle spousal support issues (to make sure that the final divorce agreement contains the correct stipulations, however, it is advised that a lawyer look into the divorcing couple’s contract agreement).
Another alternative is collaborative divorce, wherein the spouses, with their respective lawyers, discuss their needs and interests that they want to be placed in the settlement agreement. Each lawyer will need to meet with the other spouse (with his or her own lawyer present), as well as with a team of experts, such as a property evaluator and a child specialist, to make sure that the demands of each spouse are reasonable and possible.
Then there is mediation or mediated divorce, which is probably the most recommended alternative for resolving divorce and all divorce-related issues.
Divorce mediation, like collaborative divorce, is non-adversarial in nature. Unlike the latter, however, it is more private and cheaper way of settling divorce; it also allows spouses to resolve all divorce-related issues faster and on their own. In divorce mediation the spouses work with a mediator, who is a neutral third party member. The mediator’s role is to help the spouses arrive at an agreement peacefully and amicably. While some decisions are nor easily reached due to personal emotions and conflicts that may suddenly arise, the mediator helps to make sure that such emotions and conflicts are filtered out and reduced to allow the spouses to communicate freely and openly.
Mediated divorce may take about three months to finish. A spouse may consult with a mediated divorce attorney to make sure that what he or she will negotiate for (during the mediation process) are reasonable and that the final contract of agreement on all issues are worth agreeing to.
A DIY divorce can cost spouses up to $1,500, depending on the complexity of the divorce case, the fees for the paperwork and of specific court where the case will be filed. Based on certain estimates, the cost of collaborative divorce can reach up to $7,500 (or more), a litigated divorce between $20,000 and $43,000 (or so much more), and a mediated divorce, up to $4,500 (or a little bit higher).
As discussed in article by Austin divorce lawyers of Kirker Davis, LLP, mediation offers many benefits for those that choose to utilize it, some of its most key benefits include:
- Lower court fees and attorney costs
- Faster resolution
- Being able to negotiate for what you want
- Maintaining a better relationship with your ex-spouse
- A division of assets that both parties can accept
- Saving any children the pain of a strenuous divorce
Divorce mediation may not work for all couples, especially for those who willfully refuse to recognize the rights and interest of the other party; however, those who have successfully ended their union through this divorce procedure, have remained good friends and great parents for their children even after parting ways.