The divorce process can be a stressful journey for spouses, whether you are the petitioner making the complaint or the defendant compiling a response.
A divorce ranks high among stressful life transitions, and all parties involved are battling various emotional, mental and personal factors that can make the divorce process strenuous and time-consuming.
However, there are several remedies that you can utilize to ensure that your process is as seamless as possible.
Spouses have the option of choosing mediation or litigation for their divorce case, which are both separate procedures you should be familiar with when starting your case.
Mediation is often seen at the cheapest way to devise a divorce agreement, with both spouses electing to meet with the neutral third party who will help you work out an agreement on your divorce.
During this time, the spouses will make decisions on money distribution, alimony, child support and custody and any other pressing matter between the former couple. Once the agreement is completed, it is submitted to the court for approval.
The role of the mediator is to assist you and your spouse in communicating and reaching an amicable agreement among both parties. The mediator is always neutral and is not allowed to give legal advice, or show preference over one spouse’s desires than those of the other. In this setting, the couple is encouraged to talk out concerns and issues, while the mediator offers recommendations or suggestions on how a compromise may or may not be successful.
Mediation fees can vary hourly, with total costs depending on how long each couple takes to reach an agreement. Be sure to inquire with your potential attorney-mediator of the fees you could incur with their services.
Litigation is the court process involving divorce and legal separation. This process involves the discovery, pre-trial, law and motion, settlement and trial phases. Often toned as adversarial, formal and possibly stressful, this process occurs when couples are not interested in mediation or cannot come to a reasonable split among them.
Instead, each spouse outlines their desires and justifications in efforts to present their evidence to the courts to ultimately, “win their side”. In comparison to mediation, this process can take months to years to settle and reach an agreement acceptable to both parties.
Usually more expensive, litigation involves several court visits, consultations and other activities that can quickly cut into your pockets. Inquire in advance with your prospective legal team on the fees you may incur going this route for your divorce case.
Learning more about your options and how you can settle your divorce in the best way is a powerful step in reclaiming your life and severing ties with your former spouse. The questions now may be abundant; however Oxendine and Sauls are here to help you answer any questions you may have on your divorce case.