Divorce can be time-consuming, expensive and emotionally draining — but does it have to be?

Amicable divorce options may make it easier for couples to sort out complex issues such as child custody, property distribution and spousal support. These divorce options are typically best for couples that are willing to compromise with one another.

Uncontested Divorce

Because California is a “no-fault” divorce state, both spouses are considered blameless for the ending of their marriage. If both parties cite either “irreconcilable differences” or an “irreparable breakdown of the marriage” as the reason for filing the divorce, the divorce is considered uncontested. Uncontested divorce may save divorced parties time and money through streamlined court procedures.

Divorce mediation

Divorce mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that uses a neutral third party to help the couple negotiate with one another.

 A divorce mediator helps divorce couples reconcile by:

  • Addressing subjects that need to be discussed in the divorce
  • Acting as a peacemaker when there are disagreements during negotiations
  • Advising alternative options to help both divorced parties arrive at an agreement
  • Drafting required paperwork, including agreements made in mediation
  • Not making decisions for the divorced parties

Mediation does not necessarily require an attorney. However, an attorney may still be useful during mediation. A lawyer can also advise on consequences of the mediation and draft settlements.

Collaborative divorce

Collaborative divorce combines “traditional” divorce and mediation by requiring the presence of an attorney. Attorneys have the same responsibilities as a divorce mediator in this role. Both types of mediators help divorcing parties troubleshoot issues to avoid fighting over them in court. Some courts may require mediation or collaborative divorce before litigating the divorce in court.

Working with your ex-spouse amicably can make the impact of your divorce agreement easier on you and your children. Contact an attorney to discuss whether any of these divorce options may be suitable for your unique circumstance.

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