Keeping Your Divorce Out Of Court
Contrary to popular belief, not all divorces have to result in litigation. In fact, couples are typically encouraged to try and work out divorce-related legal matters, with the assistance of their attorneys, in an out-of-court setting. This can be achieved through mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce, all of which aim to help parties come up with a property division agreement or parenting plan that is best for their family. When resolving legal disputes in this way isn’t possible, however, it will be necessary to litigate the issues in court. If you are considering divorce and want to learn more about these processes and the benefits and drawbacks of both, please reach out to our experienced Largo divorce lawyers for help.
Divorce mediation is one of the most commonly utilized alternatives to litigation and involves both parties working with a neutral, third party mediator to negotiate the terms of their divorce. During mediation, both parties are represented by their own attorneys and attempt to negotiate an agreement with the help of the mediator. It’s important to note that mediators are not allowed to make decisions for the couple. While they can offer suggestions, their main purpose is to act as a facilitator. When two parties are able to reach an agreement during mediation, they will still need to seek approval of that agreement in court before their divorce can be finalized.
Arbitration proceedings are similar to mediation, but differ in one key way. Unlike mediators, arbitrators (who are also neutral third parties who oversee negotiations) are tasked with making the same decisions that a judge would make if the case were heard in court. Like mediation, both parties to arbitration will be represented by their own legal counsel, but will be required to abide by the arbitrator’s decision. Besides being faster and less expensive than litigating a divorce in court, arbitration proceedings are also completely confidential, so the parties will not be forced to go through a public trial. For these reasons, arbitration often proves to be the best option for couples who are unable to reach an agreement on their own, but who want to keep their proceedings relatively private.
The final alternative to divorce litigation is known as collaborative divorce. While mediation and arbitration use the services of a single neutral third party, collaborative divorce only involves the couple, their attorneys, and other professionals who can help the parties sort through the legal aspects of divorce. Many of those who are engaged in collaborative divorce, for instance, retain financial advisors or family counselors to help come up with a settlement agreement that is in their family’s best interests. Unlike more traditional approaches to divorce, the focus of collaborative divorce proceedings is primarily on helping the parties reach an agreement on their own. Because collaborative divorce deemphasizes the competitive nature of divorce, it is a particularly popular option among couples who share children and who are working to develop and strengthen their coparenting relationship.
Experienced Largo Divorce Lawyers
If you are looking for an alternative to divorce litigation, please call one of the dedicated Largo divorce attorneys at Cairns Law for help. We can be reached at 727-683-1472 or via online message.