Nobody likes the word “divorce” because although it is something that is meant to bring
a solution to a complicated wife-husband relationship, individuals end up getting heart broken,
discouraged and overwhelmed. The heart break comes from the unexpected pain that divorce
brings along, and the overwhelming feelings are caused by the meetings with attorneys and the
countless amounts of paperwork that neither the husband nor the wife may ever have a full
understanding of. But what many individuals don’t know is that divorce doesn’t have to be this
complicated battle that everyone fights to get through. The wife and the husband have a say in
how exactly to proceed and what steps to take in arriving at a common conclusion. Divorce
mediation, collaborative divorce, and arbitration or private judging are some of the unique ways
the husband and the wife can save their time and stay out of court while going through the
divorce procedures.
Divorce mediation is an informal way of figuring out a solution that both the husband and
the wife can agree on without going in front of the judge. Some of the issues that may be
discussed are such as child support or spousal support. During mediation, both parties and their
attorneys meet with a court appointed third party. This third party is the mediator, who assists the
husband and the wife in negotiation and coming up with the right resolution to the divorce and
any other issues the couple may have. The mediator isn’t there to convince neither the husband
nor the wife of a specific solution. The mediator serves as the objective party in making
suggestions as well as giving his/her own opinion in regards to some of the issues. Divorce
mediation is definitely an efficient way of resolving and getting through a divorce because it
saves both time and money, and speeds up the process of divorce. It is also a very reasonable
way of resolving a divorce because it gives the couple all the power in coming up with the best
solution both may agree on, without involving a final court decision. Also, the mediator having
absolutely no interest in regards to either side, serves as a balancing technique in the fairness
process.
Collaborative divorce is very similar to divorce mediation except it does not include a
third, neutral party. Instead, the husband and the wife each hire their own attorney, a
collaborative attorney. Then, the four individuals, the husband, the wife, and both divorce attorneys,
regularly meet to discuss and negotiate a settlement agreement that is agreed upon by both
parties. Usually, before the attorneys agree to represent the individuals, everyone signs an
agreement that requires the attorneys to withdraw from the divorce case if and when the matter
goes to trial. This way, if an agreement cannot be reached and the couple does have to go before
the judge, the two individuals will no longer be represented by the collaborative attorneys and
will have to look for more adversarial attorneys instead. If the couple does reach an agreement,
the family court judge needs to be contacted in order to sign that specific agreement. This way,
contact with the court is kept minimal and everything is done quick and efficiently.
Last but not least, arbitration or private judging is also very similar to divorce mediation,
but instead of having a mediator as the third party, the husband and the wife hire an arbitrator,
usually an attorney or a retired judge. An arbitrator’s decision is binding; therefore, if the couple
does not like the final resolution, there are no do-overs. Arbitration is an alternative to going into
court for trial because although it’s still expensive, it is less time consuming and less formal.

 

Either divorce lawyer is more likely to get a hearing with an arbitrator scheduled quicker and more
efficiently than try to get the divorce matter to court for trial in front of the judge. Also, when the
evidence is presented, it is done so privately whereas if the matter were to go to trial it would be
open to the public. Although the court records are still made public if the husband and the wife
choose to use arbitration, the hearing is held in a private room where both sides are able to
present their evidence. The biggest thing to watch out for is that arbitration is not available in all
states once it comes to divorce cases; therefore, it is always smart to check with an attorney.
As one can see, divorce doesn’t always have to be a lengthy, brutal battle fought by two
people who do not have the willingness and power to go through the entire court process.
Therefore, there are always ways to minimize the time, save some money and avoid appearing at
the court in front of the judge. It never hurts to ask what are the alternatives to a divorce matter,
or any other kind of matter that one may be facing. At the end of the day, all anyone wants is for
it to be over and resolved.