Not all divorces are alike; in fact, there are actually four possible divorce options that dictate how the divorce is handled, each with a different set of rules and procedures.
For some couples, a do-it-yourself, uncontested divorce may be acceptable. Truthfully, a DIY divorce is rarely advisable because there are simply too many complex issues at stake, and people often make mistakes that are irreversible.
The only time a DIY divorce might make sense is when:
- there are no children;
- neither party is requesting alimony;
- there is little or no marital propertyand
- you’re both in favor of the divorce.
If you wish to pursue an uncontested divorce, hiring an attorney to handle the process is advisable.
Settling via Mediation
Mediation is the process by which the couple (along with their attorneys) meets with an unbiased third party licensed mediator in an effort to come to terms. It can be less expensive than going to trial, and helps each party retain some of their decision-making power because the mediator does not make decisions, but rather aims to facilitate them.
This collaborative form of divorce is aimed at expeditiously reaching a compromise and may be a good option if:
- the couple can’t reach terms on their own but want to remain civil;
- they want to keep the children out of a stressful trial; or
- both want to reduce expenses and reach a compromise as soon as possible.
Going through Arbitration
Arbitration is somewhat of a mix between mediation and litigation. In arbitration, a third party arbitrator hears both parties’ sides, and then makes decisions accordingly. Whereas a mediator doesn’t make decisions, an arbitrator does render decisions, only without the courtroom setting.
Divorce arbitration is suitable for couples that can’t come to a mutually acceptable resolution on their own and want to avoid a lengthy, public, expensive hearing.
Litigation simply means “taking the case to court.” While most cases are settled out of court, there are times when only this option will work, such as when:
- there are far too many important issues at stake (custody battles, large estates);
- the animosity is so great that amicability is impossible;or
- one party refuses to compromise.
For legal advice on how to handle your divorce, work with an attorney.
Legal Counsel for Divorce in Dallas
If you need legal representation in Dallas, contact the Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC. We offer consultations and will help you decide upon a divorce option that’s right for you. Contact us today at 214-265-7630.