Innovators often begin with simply wondering if there might be a better way. Airbnb began when a couple of guys couldn’t pay their rent, blew up a few air mattresses in the living room, and charged $80 a piece for them. They took that idea and turned it business worth more than $10 billion—a valuation that surpasses even hotel giant Hyatt.
Divorce litigation is the old, business as usual way of handling divorces. It can be long, drawn-out process that can be as ugly as you can imagine. Divorce litigation can be:
- Time-consuming: If you’re looking for a quick divorce, this would be the polar opposite.
- Expensive: Time is money, especially with legal fees.
- Anger-inducing: Litigation can create an adversarial mindset.
- Unproductive: You may realize after much time, money and emotional pain, that litigation isn’t getting you anywhere.
Are there better alternatives to litigation?
Yes, there certainly are. Several, in fact.
What are the alternatives?
There are alternative dispute resolution methods, such as strategic mediation and collaborative divorce that can help you avoid a bitter courtroom fight and instead negotiate outside of court to reach a divorce agreement. These methods enable the two of you to make the decisions—rather than a judge deciding things for you—helping to create a more satisfying and longer-lasting agreement.
What are the benefits of alternative dispute resolution methods?
- Saves time and money
- Informal setting, there’s no courtroom
- Communication is open, informal and honest
- You can decide now how to handle disputes that may come later
- You negotiate a result that works for your family
In mediation, both spouses meet with an independent mediator who is trained to facilitate the divorce process. The mediator will keep the communication flowing while you negotiate the issues affecting your family. Since the mediator is neutral, he or she will not offer legal advice.
Like divorce mediation, collaborative divorce is designed to keep the divorce out of court. Both spouses commit upfront to resolve all matters without litigating. The process uses a team approach to aid with decision making. The teams may use family or child specialists, mediators, financial specialists and others as needed. Both parties generally retain attorneys who are trained and experienced in collaborative divorce to assist them through the process. Collaborative divorce uses more of a troubleshoot and problem-solve mentality, rather than a must-win attitude. When the divorce becomes a competition, no one wins.
Divorce litigation can be costly, lengthy and emotionally draining for everyone involved—however, using an alternative dispute resolution method that keeps your divorce out of the courtroom can benefit everyone involved. There is a better way, after all.