Alternative Ways to Manage Your Divorce
There are many different ways to manage your divorce. We offer a variety of non-litigated methods so couples can learn about and select the method that best suits their preferences, needs and means. Although our members are all collaboratively trained and we believe that the full-team collaborative method is superior in many cases, we want to explain the other non-court-based methods that we provide for couples to consider. The methods described below are all variations on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in which (a) both parties must agree on all decisions, and (b) all information that is shared remains confidential, unlike in litigated solutions where neither (a) nor (b) are true.
Each spouse has their own legal counsel. Other professionals are brought in as needed (financial, coach/mental health, child specialist, mortgage/realtor). Requires a participation agreement to ensure full disclosure and sharing of information.
Goal: To achieve optimal settlement that best meets family needs that may include:
- Property division
- Parenting plan
- Child custody/support
- Alimony or maintenance
End result: Agreement that is fair, durable and respectful of all parties.
Mediation / Co-Mediation:
A formally-trained mediator facilitates negotiation between a couple as a neutral third-party to assist in resolving same issues as Collaborative method. Courts routinely order a mediation before a hearing to allow parties to work through their differences and reach a settlement.
The end product should be a memorandum of understanding or marital settlement agreement (MOU/MSA) that can be taken to clients’ own attorney(s) to use in filing a formal divorce agreement in court.
Other professionals can be brought in as needed. Co-Mediation is variant whereby two professionals serve to mediate together, e.g., an attorney and either a financial professional or mental health professional/coach.
Cooperative / Negotiated Settlement:
It is a time-honored process of each party retaining own attorney, but who work diligently with the other attorney to achieve a non-litigated solution on all the same issues as with the other methods. Other professionals are brought in on as needed basis.
HCCP+ attorneys are committed to achieve out-of-court solutions if at all possible and have inclination and experience to avoid court except as absolute last resort.