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Three types of divorce options available to Gig Harbor couples

With all of the emotional upheaval that comes with divorce, it may be difficult for couples in Gig Harbor to think of the practicalities of divorce and decide how they want to proceed. In this post, we are going to discuss three ways a divorce can be completed: mediation, collaborative law and litigation.

Mediation is a private process where a couple, along with a neutral mediator attempts to negotiate their divorce legal issues and hopefully, reach a settlement. Mediators may have an understanding of family law, but they are not necessarily attorneys and will not represent either spouse's interests in the mediation process. Therefore, if a spouse wants an advocate in the mediation process, he or she may want to hire an attorney.

Mediation could save couples both money and time. In addition, having a say in the final outcome of a divorce may make mediation an attractive choice.

Collaborative law shares some similarities to mediation, in the sense that it is an out-of-court process. But, in a collaborative divorce, there is no mediator. Instead, each spouse hires an attorney and together work towards negotiating their divorce legal issues with the goal of reaching an out-of-court settlement. Couples and their attorneys are committed to the collaborative law process because if it does not work, each spouse must start over with a new attorney.

Then, of course, there is traditional litigation. Many couples find they have to turn to litigation because their relationship is just too acrimonious for mediation or collaborative law to work. Often, the decision to divorce is unilateral, making the process naturally adversarial.

Attorneys may try to get their clients to work out a settlement regarding their divorce legal issues before trial. This does not always work. Therefore, it is beneficial for some couples to have a judge make these decisions in a fair and appropriate manner.

Couples going through a divorce may be under a lot of strife, but they still need to think about how they want their divorce to proceed. No two situations are alike, so what works for one couple may not work for another. An attorney may be able to advice couples about whether mediation, collaborative divorce or litigation is the most appropriate way to proceed with their divorce.

Source: PsychCentral.com, "4 Different Types of Divorce," accessed on June 13, 2016

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