No matter how you put it, a divorce is an unpleasant and horrible thing. A family is being torn apart, and the spouses need to determine how they can sum up their marital life and legally put it behind them. When there are kids involved, the entire process can become even more complicated and stressful.
No matter what anyone tries to tell you, it is important to realize that not all divorces are created equal. You do have choices on how your divorce will happen and what type of negotiation process occurs. You need to understand the various processes so that you can decide which one is best for your needs.
Most states offer the option to log into an official state website and download a do-it-yourself divorce package. This type of service implies that a divorce is simply a matter of filling out some paperwork and sending in a check. Unfortunately, the process is not that easy.
What if whomever fills out the paperwork has made a mistake? If that has happened, then the paperwork will be sent back and you have to figure out what is wrong. What if you accidentally gave away all of your income to your spouse and then signed the document? Something like that could absolutely happen if you are not a lawyer and you are trying to file legal documents. A do-it-yourself divorce should never be an option.
In a mediated divorce, the parties agree to use a third-party mediator to determine the terms of the divorce. This is usually used in a situation where there are significant marital resources that need to be divided up and neither party is willing to give up their claim. A mediated divorce can take time and become very expensive, but it remains a popular option with people who have a lot of money and property to lose.
The reality is that there are no tricks when it comes to filing for a divorce, unless you are using a do-it-yourself divorce and have no idea what you are doing. But if you and your spouse still have an amicable relationship, then a collaborative divorce is always the best approach.
In this type of divorce, the two parties hire attorneys and then each party drafts the terms for the divorce. Then the two parties start to exchange terms and a final agreement is reached. While this is an amicable way to draft a divorce, it is still done through attorneys with the spouses avoiding any type of communication directly. If you want to end your marriage on the best terms possible, then a collaborative divorce is the best way.
In most cases, one spouse wants a divorce while the other doesn't. In this instance, the party that wants the divorce must sue the other party to get what they want. This is a litigated divorce, and this is how most divorces in the United States occur.
As you can imagine, a litigated divorce can get very ugly and take a long time to be resolved. In some cases, the sides will eventually agree to a negotiation because the legal costs are getting prohibitive. But if both parties are willing to stand their ground, then the litigated divorce can leave large emotional scars that last a lifetime.