First, a couple of definitions:
You discuss, you negotiate, and you agree about children/parenting, support and finances/property.
You tried, but you can’t agree on some or all of the key issues.
Emotionally, psychologically, socially ending a marriage or domestic partnership can be very difficult indeed. Add the hot-button topics of child custody, strained finances and division of property to the mix and it is no wonder divorce is
probably one of the most challenging life events you’ll ever experience. So, “No!” it is not easy, but from one point of view, there are (at least) two different approaches. One, especially, is a lot easier than the other.
Two approaches in divorce:
Doing it by agreement
Many people are able to agree with their partner and this makes the process of separation and divorce a lot easier. Not easy, but easier.
Going to court
Unfortunately, many people are living in the difficult world of divorce litigation. Sure, if you could agree on things you might not be getting divorced in the first place. Ultimately, if you are unable to agree, you will need the court to make the decisions for you.
Many of my clients read or hear about the phrase, “no-court-divorce,” and wonder . . .
I can say without hesitation (at least in Oregon and Washington), there is no such thing as “no-court-divorce.” To end your marriage and become a single person, it can only happen in court with a judge signing legal papers! Historically, that’s how litigating divorce lawyers came to be: If you gotta go to court, the thinking was, they (and the media, to a great degree) convinced folks they need to engage in a court-battle to “win-it-all” from their former partner. Yes, some folks will need a judge to give them their answers ~ I don’t expect courthouses will be torn down or become obsolete anytime soon. I do believe most folks are able to find their own comprehensive divorce agreements, sometimes on their own but usually with the help of a caring, trained professional.
Finances & Property
It’s not only a matter of who will get what, there are also issues of child support and perhaps even spousal support (alimony) to consider. Typically, there is a lot at stake for both partners. Will you get to keep most of your hard earned assets?
Child Custody & Parenting
Children are the future. Will joint custody be workable? How will parenting-time be established? Will you be able to be there for your children when it matters most? Will you be involved enough to really be a part of their lives as the years go on?
Consider Your Alternatives : Exercise Your Judgment
Nobody looks forward to divorce: It’s hard! When you decide it’s over, you do have options to the tired old refrain, “See you in court!” Mediation or Collaboration are usually better choices for most couples. The vast majority of my clients “get ‘r done” without a contested court case (especially in these COVID-19 trying times).
Contact me (or any “Bridger”) to learn how to “invite” your partner to an amiable divorce. I am convinced the better way is Collaborative Divorce (and its little sibling, Mediation)!
To learn more about the Divorce Process Options, contact one of our Professionals at Bridges Collaborative Divorce Solutions.