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Understanding different options for divorce

In the United States, sadly, 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Because of the important life event the end of a marriage can be for many couples, it is useful for couples considering divorce to understand all the different options that may be available to them through the family law process. Options range from traditional divorce to mediation and collaborative law. One option is for couples to work divorce-related issues out together through an uncontested divorce which can save time and money.

Couples are always encouraged to work out issues together, including property division, child custody and other divorce-related issues. The ability to control emotions and focus on what is in the best interests of the children can be helpful in any divorce situation. Financial advisors can also be helpful to guide the parties and help them focus. When couples cannot agree, the family law system can step in and help the couple litigate divorce-related issues. In the litigation setting, the spouses will both focus on obtaining a divorce settlement that protects their interests. The divorce litigation process can be more time-consuming and costly if couples choose to fight out every disputed issue.

Mediation is another option a divorcing couple may wish to consider. The mediator will help the couple resolve divorce-related issues including a property settlement, spousal support, child support and child custody. Mediation can save time and, in turn, money. The collaborative divorce process utilizes experts in different areas to help divorcing couples reach an efficient and amicable settlement agreement. The collaborative divorce process is a thorough process aimed and resolving divorce-related issues and the same professionals do not participate in the divorce if it goes to litigation.

With a variety of options available through the family law process, it is important for couples considering divorce to determine what is best for the divorcing couple and their family. By understanding the differences, and the similarities, couples are in a better position to navigate the oftentimes difficult process of divorce.

Source:, "Considering divorce? Consider your options," Stewart Welch, July 5, 2016

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