Strive for a Simple Divorce
Getting divorced can be among the most challenging periods in a person’s life, and mental health professionals recommend striving for as simple a process as possible. With the help of a divorce lawyer, you can achieve a simple divorce through a collaborative process, and if you need help agreeing on certain matters, that assistance is available through divorce mediation.
A contested divorce is one in which one of the spouses challenges the divorce either because they cannot agree on a matter, or they simply may not want to end their marriage. In these scenarios, litigation is often required, and a judge hears the case and makes the final decision. An uncontested, or no-contest, divorce is when both parties agree on all matters necessary to achieve the marital separation. As long as the final agreement is legal, the judge will sign the order without interference, and this means that the couple has full control over their divorce.
The Collaborative Process
Even couples that are committed to splitting up amicably will have disagreements. Compromise is necessary, and the collaborative divorce process is how this is achieved. Note that the process is unique for everyone since it needs to be tailored to the specifics of the marriage.
You can navigate this process yourselves, but many couples will have a faster and more successful experience if they have the help of a divorce lawyer who can help them manage the collaborative process. The lawyer does not represent either spouse but rather works with both parties together to ease the collaboration. Of course, each spouse will also have their own lawyer who will represent them specifically and protect their interests.
If a couple is having difficulties agreeing on matters like finances and child custody, mediation can be part of the collaborative divorce process. It is similar to the process discussed earlier except that there is a mediator who takes a more active role in helping the parties reach an agreement.
Divorce mediation can also involve experts. A common example of when this is necessary is when a couple is divorcing but owns a small business together. This will often require a unique and creative agreement that may involve accountants and business advisors.
Divorce arbitration may be necessary when mediation fails and is often recommended by the courts as an alternative to a trial for a contested divorce. This process is similar to a trial but is not bound to the rules of the court. Arbitrators are typically retired judges and attorneys. One unique facet of arbitration is the arbitrator’s ruling is binding and final, but the approach is far less expensive and time-consuming than a trial in cases where the spouses cannot otherwise agree.
Unbundled Divorce Services
Divorce can be expensive. In fact, the average cost of a divorce for Pennsylvania couples is more than $14,000. It is important to note that divorces that require litigation greatly drive up that amount. Through an alternative process, you can spend substantially less than that even if mediation or arbitration is required.
Another way that you can limit your costs and keep your divorce simple is by paying for only what you need. Some fees, such as the $300 needed to file your divorce are baked in, but most services and expenses are up to your discretion. You can, for instance, ask one of our divorce attorneys to review your marital separation agreement, represent you in court, collect evidence on your behalf, and/or provide overall guidance. You can decide in which of these matters you will want to have legal assistance.
Simple Divorces in Pennsylvania
The Law Office of Joanne E. Kleiner has more than 35 years of experience helping couples achieve simple divorces that are resolved quickly and limit stress and expenses. This includes collaborative divorce and divorce mediation. To meet with a divorce lawyer to discuss your situation, call our Jenkintown office at 215-886-1266 or contact us online.