Has your marriage sadly come to an end? Perhaps you feel heartbroken, or even a sense of relief. Going through a divorce can be really hard emotionally on everyone involved and a very stressful time. You can manage your stress a bit better if you understand what options you have during your divorce. This article will discuss the various options that you have during a divorce and what each option means.
1.Traditional means of divorce / Litigation
There are various options when it comes to getting a divorce. One option is to go the traditional route. This would involve hiring a lawyer and letting them take care of the entire process. Many people in the past used this route. Nowadays though, more couples are opting for more modern means of divorce. The traditional way of getting a divorce can be quite costly though. This is because hiring a lawyer can be expensive. Lawyers charge per hour for their services. This could add up to a lot of money. Besides paying for lawyer’s fees, you will have to pay a filing fee and if you do decide to go to trial, the costs of your divorce will be even greater. The average cost of a traditional divorce is on average $15,000 per couple. Many couples who go this route, can’t agree on things like child custody, division of assets and other issues. Therefore they go to court to fight for what they want out of the divorce. This is also known as a contested divorce. This is really costly, therefore it would be wise to find a lawyer who is reasonable with their prices, and who has your best interests at heart.
Mediation is a great option for couples who have children under the age of 18. Instead of going to court a mediator can help the couple come to an amicable agreement regarding child custody, visitation, division of assets, retirement and so forth. A mediator helps the couple communicate in a way in which both can win. Mediators help the couple brainstorm ideas and help them with the decision process. Mediation is also cheaper than litigation. Therefore it would be a better option for couples who can’t come to an agreement, but who would like cheaper options. Mediation is also less stressful in the sense that mediators help couples work together for the best outcome. There is no harsh arguing that can occur with litigation.
The average cost of mediation is $150 to $350 per hour, per couple, depending on the complexity of the case and other factors. The average time most couples spend with a mediator is 3 hours.
So if you are looking for a more amicable means of a divorce, using a mediator is definitely the way to go. Not only will you be able to save money, but the process will also be less stressful.
- Do it yourself divorce
Many couples in this century are opting for this means of divorce. A DIY divorce is much cheaper. You can get your divorce papers online, fill them out, get all your own supporting documents and then file your own papers at your local family court. The only problem with this though is if you file the incorrect papers, the process will have to start all over again and this can be stressful. If you are unsure of what forms to fill out, you can always ask your local clerk. Or you could hire a lawyer to just help fill out the forms for you and you can do the rest. This is a good option for couples who are amicable and who can come to an easy agreement regarding the division of assets and debts. This is also a good option if no children are involved, or if you agree on child custody, alimony and so forth. In a DIY divorce, you will just have to pay for the filing fees. It’s important though to make sure that you have everything in order so that the outcomes of your annulment will make you and your spouse happy.
- Online divorce
Cheap, efficient, and fast. This is for couples who would like an easy hassle-free divorce. When it comes to choosing an online divorce company, there are many to choose from. Go for a company that has the experience, great customer service, and guarantees. In this way, you can be sure that the process will be professional. Online divorce is also really cheap. Most companies send your papers through within 24hours. All you have to do is fill them out, pay the fee and then they will process your documents for you. The average cost of online divorce is between $300 and $500. If you and your spouse don’t have children and agree on all the terms and conditions of your divorce, then an online annulment could be the way to go. To see if you qualify for this form of annulment, you will have to do an online questionnaire.
- Collaborative divorce
A collaborative divorce is similar to mediation and arbitration. But instead of using a third party to help resolve issues, both parties each use their own legal counsel, a lawyer who specializes in collaborative divorce. Both spouses have to sign an agreement that they will work together to come to an agreement. If they fail to agree, then their lawyers will pull out of the case and the couple will have to start all over again. This is a good incentive to actually come to an agreement.
- Default divorce
This is an interesting one. This occurs when one spouse files for a divorce and then the other spouse doesn’t respond. This usually happens because one spouse can not be found. The divorce is then granted by default. In this case, the non-respondent spouse will not need to appear in court.
- Summary Divorce
Also known as a “simple divorce”, this option is for couples who don’t have children or any real assets, they also have not been married for long. Many states impose a monetary threshold for the number of debts and assets a couple can have. If you do go this route, then all you have to do is fill in a few forms to finalize the process.
Couples who can’t come to an agreement can use this method, instead of going to court. In this case, a private judge will have a look at their case and listen to each couple’s side. An arbitrator will act as a third party and then make a ruling in the same way as a normal judge in court would do.
When it comes to getting a divorce, you have many options. All you have to do is see which option would suit you best. Divorce is easier if you understand what each option means for you. Weigh up the pros and cons of each and then decide which is best.