There is a little known secret that could make your life a lot easier if you are contemplating divorce. It is actually possible to obtain a divorce without going to court. Of course, there are stipulations based on where you live and the laws in that state. Even if you are required to appear in court in your state, it could be as little as minutes when everything is agreed to in advance. No-fault divorces or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options can prevent the necessity of a drawn-out court appearance. These are all things you will want to consider with your Bloomington family lawyer.
No-Fault, Uncontested Divorce
This type of divorce is the easiest and quickest to finalize. Neither spouse blames the other for causing the separation, and both parties agree to dissolve the marriage. Sadly, marriages don’t always work out but, if both spouses can decide ahead of time on all concerns like division of assets and debts, alimony, spousal support or child support and child custody, there may be no need for them to appear in court.
Mediation is the alternative to traditional divorces that allows for an objective third party to help the spouses agree on terms. Usually, these are trained professionals with experience helping couples through divorce agreements without the necessity of lawyers. Although attorneys may be involved, it is much more cost-effective and frequently less contentious if both parties can agree to work with a mediator instead.
When couples want an ADR but can’t agree, they may decide to let an arbitrator settle their disputes. In this type of divorce, the arbitrator acts as a judge would. They are authorized to adjudicate or make decisions. Some of the rules for arbitration may be less stringent than those of a traditional divorce court, streamlining the process. One of the most significant advantages of using arbitration over going to court is that both parties can pick the arbitrator, but they cannot select the judge that could decide their case.
You could call this type of ADR the team approach to divorce. Couples who may not feel that mediation or arbitration is right for them may choose this method. In a collaborative divorce, both parties have attorneys, but all 4 work together equally to come to a settlement. The lawyers are trained in this type of agreement-focused alternative divorce. One drawback of collaborative divorce is that in some states, the same attorneys that represented the parties may not be able to represent them in a court case if negotiations fail.
Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into family law and the secret about divorce.