Alternatives to a traditional divorce

Feb 6 2015 - Posted by , in Divorce Mediation

Houston residents who are considering a divorce or starting the divorce process may feel a huge amount of emotional stress and anxiety regarding the process. Many times a divorce is complicated and can involve many issues, including property division, child support, alimony and a host of other problems. Many people think that a divorce always includes court dates and judges, but there are alternatives to the traditional divorce proceedings.

One divorce option is the do-it-yourself divorce. This type of divorce is where the couple files their own paperwork and other necessary documentation. However, there are very few situations where this makes sense for a divorcing couple, as mistakes are often irreversible.

The second divorce option is a collaborative divorce. In a collaborative divorce each partner meets with their own attorneys who will advise their client and help them negotiate a settlement. The person’s attorney will also meet with the other spouse and their attorney. Everyone works together to come up with a settlement that is fair for both parties. Financial planners and therapists may also be involved if there are complicated financial matters or issues regarding child custody and child support.

The third divorce option is mediation. In a divorce mediation there is a neutral mediator who works with both sides to set the terms of the divorce. Each person still has an attorney to advise them, but the mediator is neutral and can help both sides reach an amicable settlement. Mediation can also cost less than a litigated divorce and can be a more peaceful process if children are involved.

Finally, there is the traditional litigated divorce. Attorneys still try to work out an agreement between their clients in this process, but if they can’t reach a reasonable settlement the divorce will wind up in front of a judge. The judge will make the decisions regarding property division, child custody, child support and alimony.

While there are clearly choices to be made when getting a divorce, the mediation route can be very help by potentially decreasing the amount of time and money spent during the difficult process. Seeking the assistance of an experienced mediation attorney can help set forth a solid plan of action.

Source:, “The four divorce alternatives“, Jeff Landers, April 24, 2012

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