Written By: Brandy Miller | December 15, 2016 | No Comments
In a mediated divorce, you and your former spouse will meet with a mediator to develop a plan to present to the court. You will decide on matters such as alimony, support, division of assets and other issues. The mediator will work to ensure the process is as amicable as possible. Once you have agreed, you will be able to sign a divorce settlement agreement. During the process, you may consult the mediator — who may or may not be a family law attorney — as well as individual attorneys, if you wish.
Mediated divorce is a popular option because it promises to reduce some of the animosity of many divorces. However, it is not the only choice. Alternatives to mediated divorce include:
- Collaborative divorce
In a collaborative divorce, you and your partner will each work with your individual attorneys who work within the collaborative divorce model. You will meet with your own attorney and with your partner and their attorney reach an agreement. You may still need to appear in court to sign the final divorce agreement. In addition, if you cannot reach an agreement, you may still need to go through the court process, or you may need to begin the collaborative divorce process again with new attorneys.
- DIY divorce
Some couples try to save on legal fees by filing for divorce themselves — without the help of a mediator, attorney or other professional. There are even books helping couples navigate the divorce process. You don’t technically need a divorce attorney, but unrepresented divorces are risky. Divorce involves complex legal matters, and you may find yourself without your fair share of assets or support if you divorce without professional representation.
- Litigated divorce
Litigated divorce is the “traditional” type of divorce — one party files for divorce, and the process works its way through the courts. In most cases, couples reach an out-of-court agreement, although in some contentious cases, the case may end up before a judge. Some couples think they want to avoid a litigated divorce, but there are several situations where a litigated divorce may be most appropriate. If a divorce is highly charged or if one party disagrees with the dissolution of the marriage, litigated divorce may be a more appropriate model. A litigated divorce may be the only option if one partner wants to fight the divorce. In cases where considerable assets or complex financial situations are involved, a litigated divorce ensures both parties get a say. If you wish to petition for divorce in Berks County or Reading, Pennsylvania, you may wonder which divorce option is right for you. In general, couples will want to avoid a do-it-yourself option. You will want some legal input to protect yourself, your former partner, children and any other parties involved. However, choosing between a collaborative, mediation or litigation model can be challenging. If you’d like support, contact Miller Law Group for a legal analysis and for advice. Our family law attorneys can help guide you to the right process and can represent you to protect your assets and interests at the end of your marriage so you can enjoy a fresh start.