You probably know of people who suffered through a long and nasty divorce process – and some who pulled it off without much fuss. Why are some divorces sensible and others catastrophic?
The answer depends on various factors, including the personalities of the people involved, the importance of what’s at stake, and sometimes, on how much you rely on lawyers and courts to resolve troublesome issues.
When to Hire a Lawyer
There are several reasons why it might be in your best interest to hire a divorce lawyer.
- Your ex-spouse has an attorney
- You and your ex-spouse are not able to effectively communicate with one another or he/she is being vindictive or dishonest
- There is a problem with abuse- physical, emotional, sexual, or substance.
If you make the decision to hire a divorce lawyer, it’s important to do your research and find the right one. Let them know what is most important to you and what your desired outcome is. If you want a lawyer’s help but you still want to keep your divorce civil, make sure you hire a lawyer who will support that approach. If you feel that the process may be difficult, be honest with your attorney and let them know this ahead of time.
Mediation to Find Middle Ground
If you and your ex are parting ways on relatively “decent” terms but are stuck on a few key issues, mediation can help. Mediators may be able to help you and your spouse get over the emotional barriers to negotiation and come to a sensible divorce agreement that meets both of your needs. Unlike lawyers, mediators work with both spouses at the same time and they don’t represent anyone’s individual interests. Mediators facilitate a negotiation between the spouses that, in most cases, results in a satisfactory agreement to both sides. This option is considerably cheaper than hiring a divorce lawyer but does require cooperation from you and your ex-spouse.
Making Divorce Decisions by Yourselves
In theory, at least, it’s simple: It’s usually best if you and your spouse can work out thorny issues together, perhaps with help from a neutral third person, such as a mediator. You keep control over vital matters like how your children will be raised, what happens to the family home, and how your property will be divided. If you and your spouse can work these issues on your own you will save yourselves time, money and anguish. More importantly, you will spare your children the ugly spectacle of extended parental fights, helping them come through the divorce as undamaged as possible.
If you and your spouse can resolve the big questions of children, money and property, you’ll only need to obtain a written divorce judgment from the court.
GCW Has Your Back
If you’re considering filing for divorce or have already filed and just need some guidance, Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP are here to help. We have a team of and family law attorneys that will work with you and your former spouse to help settle disagreements so you both can move on with your lives. Contact us for a free consultation.