Alternatives to a Typical Divorce


Many people mistakenly believe, largely due to media hype and television shows, that the most common type of divorce is a contested divorce, in which couples battle fiercely over “who gets what” in the end.  However, the fact of the matter is that about 90% of divorces in the U.S. are actually what we call uncontested divorces.  In an uncontested divorce, spouses are able to agree on every aspect of their divorce settlement, and therefore settle their divorce negotiations relatively easily, with no fighting or fuss.

There are alternatives, of course, to these two primary types of divorce.  Even if you and your spouse aren’t having knock-down, drag-out fights about matters like child custody or property division, you might still not agree on every aspect of the settlement terms.  Therefore, some alternative to both a contested and an uncontested divorce is likely appealing.  Fortunately, there are alternatives, and you can get help deciding which of these popular alternatives is right for you.  Everyone is different, so finding the best divorce for your situation can make this difficult process a little easier to bear.

Common Alternatives

Understanding that you are not stuck with any one particular type of divorce is important; you have some options from which to choose.  Several common alternative divorce methods include:

  • Mediated Divorce
  • Collaborative Divorce
  • Simplified Divorce

In a mediated divorce, an objective, non-legal representative will work with both spouses and their attorneys, representing the interests of both in order to reach a settlement.  In a collaborative divorce, each spouse’s divorce lawyer will represent the wants and interests of his or her own client.  Finally, a simplified divorce takes place without a lawyer at all.  These common alternatives might be viable options for you and your spouse, if you are having difficulty making a decision about the type of divorce that’s right for you.

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