If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, the idea of going to court might be weighing heavily on your mind. Discussing private matters in front of a judge is probably not on anyone’s list of favorite things to do. Although you cannot get a divorce without filing in court, there are some options for getting divorced without fighting in court.
Getting a divorce without court litigation is a much more private process. It’s also usually less expensive and more peaceful for you and your family, and you and your spouse can receive guidance to make decisions that might be better for your family in the long run than what a judge and conflict-focused attorneys might decide
Here are two divorce options that could help you stay out of the courtroom:
Collaborative Law Divorce
If you and your spouse are willing to resolve your differences reasonably and want to divorce without going to court, a Collaborative Law divorce might be a good option. In a Collaborative Law divorce, attorneys trained in both Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Law will guide you through the entire process. You may also work with additional, neutral professionals as needed, such as financial experts, mental health professionals, and child specialists, to ensure that you’re making the best decisions possible for you and your family.
Throughout the Collaborative Law process, you and your spouse will retain control of the decision-making, but experts are available for consultation and your attorneys will guide you through the process of developing long-term solutions that work for everyone involved.
It’s important to remember that as a part of the Collaborative Law process, the couple agrees to use good faith efforts to reach a mutually agreeable settlement and to disclose all relevant information voluntarily. The couple also must agree that if a settlement can’t be reached through the Collaborative Law Process, both partners will cut ties with the Collaborative Law attorneys and hire new litigation attorneys, because a Collaborative Law attorney can’t represent either party in later litigation.
If you’d like to learn more about this process and how it works, visit our page on Collaborative Law Divorce.
Divorce Mediation is a highly flexible process that can help you get a divorce outside of the courtroom. A mediated divorce is almost always the least expensive divorce option because you can avoid the expense of paying multiple attorneys throughout the divorce process.
Instead of paying two separate attorneys, you have one experienced lawyer working as a neutral mediator to guide you through the process and help you both understand a reasonable legal foundation for your divorce agreements before filing.
You’ll have the option of retaining an additional attorney to advise you periodically on the side, and to draft any final agreements after mediation, but that attorney doesn’t need to attend mediation meetings, and costs are minimized since you won’t need two attorneys involved throughout the proceedings.
Divorce mediation is a great option for couples who want to make amicable decisions for themselves, rather than leave everything up to litigation attorneys and judges. If you’d like to learn more, visit our page on Divorce Mediation Services.
Is divorcing outside of court always an option?
Whether or not these divorce options make sense for you will depend on your unique situation and divorce case. Primarily, if you’re thinking about divorcing without going to court, it’s important for both parties to want to come to agreements amicably and to have a desire to avoid the anger, hurt feelings, and resentment that often results from traditional divorce litigation. If you’re not sure if divorcing outside of court is a good option for you, talk to an attorney that can help you better understand your options.
Meridian Family Law, Seattle Divorce Attorneys
Our attorneys can help you avoid unnecessary conflict during the divorce process and provide the guidance needed to reach divorce settlements outside of court. Call 206-569-5346 to schedule a consultation with a Seattle divorce attorney that is highly trained in Collaborative Law and Divorce Mediation.