When people think of divorce, they often think of adversarial courtroom movie scenes, where the Judge is calling for order and counsel is doing their best “To Kill a Mockingbird” impression. Now-a-days there are many ways a couple can get divorced with much less of the pain and animosity that comes with traditional litigation. Some of these alternative options to divorce litigation in Connecticut are Mediation and Collaborative law. These processes help the parties stay in control of their divorce so that a stranger in a black robe (the judge) is not making all the final decisions. This is especially true when custody is involved as you and your spouse as parents are in the best position to make decisions about your children.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process by which a third neutral party acts as a facilitator to help the parties stay on track and come to a resolution of the issues. Mediation is done privately at the parties’ discretion. For Mediation to be effective, both you and your spouse have to be open and have mutual respect for one another. Mediation can also be cost-effective if done correctly. Most couples can reach an agreement on major issues after only a few mediation sessions, whereas litigating in court can take months or years.
Collaborative Law Options to Divorce
Collaborative practice involves using lawyers, divorce coaches, financial professionals, therapists, and other professionals as needed to analyze and help parties navigate the divorce process and achieve a settlement that works for both parties. This process is unique in the fact that both parties have an attorney, but voluntarily sign a contract that binds them to the process and disqualifies their attorneys from representing either if they choose to abandon this process and proceed with litigation in court. This process is for parties who are willing to be open and have mutual respect for one another as well. It also tends to be more cost effective than litigation because you have a team of professions helping you reach an agreement that works best for everyone.
Litigation, while sometimes necessary, should be a last resort for couples who are not able to negotiate and come to a resolution on their own. Litigation is held in open court for the public to see. You are often not in control of the process and a Judge is making the final decisions for your family when agreement cannot be reached. Litigation is not only more expensive, but can also be emotionally exhausting as it creates a legal wall between you and your ex-spouse and family. It can lead to resentment and often extends the healing process. Additionally, litigation means you are on the court’s schedule, which can often mean at the back of the line. Therefore, if you are looking for alternative options to divorce litigation in Connecticut, speak with an attorney from our firm.