If you’re contemplating divorce, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by the enormity of the process. Not only do you have to adjust to a new, unmarried life, but you’ve also got to figure out how to divide your property and share your finances. If you have children, the process can be even more complicated.
There are a number of different methods for pursuing an Arizona divorce. Which one you choose will depend on your goals and the dynamics of your marriage. Below is an overview of the four most common methods for pursuing a divorce.
A do-it-yourself divorce may seem like the cheapest option, but it can actually prove to be very expensive in the long term. The costs of correcting mistakes are often significantly more expensive than hiring a lawyer to do things correctly the first time.
The only time a do-it-yourself divorce should even be considered is in cases where the couple has been married for a short amount of time, shares few or no assets or debts and has not had children. Even then, it is not recommended, given the often unexpected complexities of the divorce process.
Mediation is designed to help divorcing couples come to an amicable solution. Both parties work together with a neutral mediator whose job is to help the couple reach an agreement with regard to property division, alimony, child custody and child support.
Mediation can reduce the stress and expense of divorce for couples who can agree on shared goals. Both parties should still retain their own individual attorneys to ensure that the process is conducted fairly.
In a collaborative divorce, the couple agrees to try and reach a settlement without going to court. Both parties hire their own attorneys, who represent their clients in a process that is intended to be less adversarial than traditional divorce litigation.
Collaborative divorce is a good choice for couples who have different individual needs but are still able to work together effectively.
Litigation involves filing a formal divorce lawsuit, although the case may be settled out of court. In divorce litigation, each party hires their own attorney, who is responsible for gathering and asserting evidence in favor of the client’s position.
Litigation is the best choice for adversarial divorces and in cases of abuse or hidden assets.
These options can be overwhelming. If you are contemplating divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss the best options for your situation.