What are Your Divorce Options?
Like most lawsuits and legal disputes, nearly all divorces resolve outside of a courtroom. Most parties can’t justify the costs of a trial in money, time, energy, and stress. How you approach your divorce and its resolution depends on you and your spouse.
Divorcing spouses come from all different emotional directions. They may be heartbroken, emotionally exhausted, or enraged. They may be willing to settle at all costs and just get the divorce over with or be eager to fight over every penny. After learning about the law and going through the process, most couples, no matter their starting point, realize that reaching a resolution is the best option.
Do You Want to Go to Court?
Going to court usually happens when one or both parties are unreasonable. One side may look at the issues rationally, but the other makes unreasonable, unacceptable settlement demands. Sometimes both parties are willing and able to use litigation to try to legally bludgeon the other spouse to get what they think will be a victory.
There are many reasons to avoid litigation. The cost in time and expense can be substantial, especially if the issues are complex and there’s a lot of evidence that could be admitted. Even if you get a favorable judgment, the other party may appeal, potentially prolonging the case for years.
Litigation puts the outcome into the hands of a judge or jury. It’s like handing over your car keys to someone you don’t know and giving them directions, but they ultimately decide where you’ll end up. In this situation, the issue is not which town you’ll be in. It’s what will happen with your future life, your finances, and your children.
How Do You Want to Approach Your Divorce?
Nearly all divorces are uncontested, but you could try to fight your spouse’s attempt to get one. Unless you have compelling reasons, contesting a divorce when your spouse no longer wants to be married, for practical and legal reasons, probably doesn’t make sense.
If the two of you understand the relationship is over and have no (or few) axes to grind, a collaborative divorce is worth considering. It’s a divorce in which both parties agree to do their best to resolve their issues out of court (though resolving them in court is an option if their efforts fail). It works best when you’re both amicable and will talk and act in good faith. It may also work when financial issues are already worked out in a prenuptial agreement.
Disagreements that you can’t resolve need not end up in court. Another option is using a mediator, a neutral third party (usually an attorney, sometimes a retired judge) who helps both sides reach an agreement. In addition to representing parties, we at Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C. also mediate disputes between divorcing couples.
Do You Want Legal Representation?
The answer should be yes. If you’re of low income and have few assets, you may qualify for help from a legal aid organization to help you and your spouse divorce. Otherwise, contact our office. Your situation may be much more complicated than you think, and your spouse’s proposals may not be as reasonable as they appear. You must understand your rights and protect them during a divorce. A mistake made when you do it yourself may haunt you for the rest of your life.
The attorneys at Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., can answer your questions and represent you in your divorce, no matter which approach you take or how it’s resolved. Contact us today to see how we can help you.