Getting divorced is stressful. What makes a divorce stressful can vary from person to person. For some, the thought of not seeing their children every day after the divorce is finalized is the most upsetting part of getting divorced. For others, the financial ramifications of ending a marriage is the most difficult part of getting divorced. For many, the thought of having to go to court to “fight” their former spouse for a specific divorce settlement is the most stressful aspect of getting divorced.
Sometimes, you have to go to court and end your marriage through litigation. Sometimes, you do not have to do this. There are alternative ways to divorce, and whether they are available to you depends on your relationship with your spouse and your ability to work together cooperatively.
Mediation and collaboration, two types of alternative dispute resolution used in divorces, allow couples to end their marriages in a relatively inexpensive, stress-free way. Talk to your divorce lawyer and your spouse to determine if one of these litigation alternatives is the right choice for you. In order to divorce through one of these alternative methods, you and your spouse both have to be willing to work together and compromise to reach a fair divorce settlement.
With mediation, three people work together to reach an appropriate divorce settlement for the divorcing couple – the spouses and a mediator, a neutral third party who guides them through conversations about specific components of their divorce settlement, such as how to divide their marital property. The mediator can answer questions about applicable state laws and help the couple develop a more in-depth understanding of the divorce process and how settlements are reached. Ultimately, the couple designs their divorce settlement, not the mediator. But the mediator’s role is crucial to the development of their settlement.
In a collaborative divorce, a large team of people works together to help the couple reach their ideal divorce settlement. The couple is in the driver’s seat. Their individual lawyers are the “navigators,” the legal professionals who answer questions and help the couple make informed, appropriate decisions on the different components of their divorce settlement. The couple and their lawyers also work with outside professionals, like a real estate appraiser and a child custody evaluator, to obtain the data they use to make appropriate decisions for the divorce settlement. These professionals do not have a hands-on role in creating the settlement but enable the couple to reach the settlement that is best for them based on their individual needs.
Work with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
When you know your marriage is over, putting off the divorce process will only make it more stressful. Contact an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss your case in detail and go over your rights and legal options. To schedule your initial legal consultation with our team, contact Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today.
Schedule a mediation appointment with Attorney James Naugler. In-person, ZOOM, and telephone appointments are available. Jim has been practicing in La Crosse, Wisconsin since 1979.