Particularly for couples with children, experts and average people alike are realizing that often heated courtroom battles are not the best for anyone involved in a divorce.
Many West Michigan parents may worry that contentious family law litigation and the fallout from it will harm their children.
Courtroom litigation also costs a lot in terms of time, money and emotional resources. More importantly, it takes control of the outcome away from the parties and into the hands of the judge to make decisions about their lives, children, and finances.
There are divorce alternatives available to Michigan couples which may help them save time and money during their divorce. More importantly, these alternative options give couples a greater amount of control over the outcome, while helping them retain some sense of normalcy in their family relationship as they move forward.
Mediation helps a couple to compromise on their differences in a safe space
Litigants of all sorts use mediation to resolve their disputes. It is a popular alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, technique in divorces and other family cases.
Some Michigan family courts may even order couples to give mediation a try before going forward with a final divorce or custody hearing.
In a mediation, an experienced and qualified mediator will work with the couple, and possibly their attorneys, to negotiate their outstanding issues, including property division, custody and parenting time, child and spousal support and the like.
If the couple resolves their issues with a mediator’s help, the mediator may help them draft a formal memorandum which lays out the terms of their agreement which can then be used to draft legal documents to file with the court.
No one is required to enter an agreement during a mediation. If the couple cannot agree, then their discussions remain confidential and neither side can bring them up in a latter court hearing.
Collaborative Divorce is another non-adversarial approach to a divorce
To some extent, Collaborative Law resembles mediation in that the spouses try to resolve their issues privately outside of court. Instead of a mediator, a Collaborative Divorce utilizes a private team of specially trained professionals to help a family during a divorce transition. This team involves Collaborative attorneys, a divorce coach and may also, if necessary, involve other experts, such as a financial neutral or a child specialist.
A Collaborative Divorce focuses on the family and encourages creative problem solving in order to reach a resolution that meets everyone’s needs moving forward.
Litigation does not have to be a nasty process
There are some situations in which the best option for a couple is to go to court and present respective arguments to a judge. However, that does not mean that the process has to be nasty. Litigation may not be someone’s first option of dispute resolution, but sometimes it is the only option. However, people can chose to remain civil even if they agree to disagree.
When researching which options may be best for your family, look for an attorney that offers several alternatives to help with your legal issue. Giordano Law is experienced in both litigation and alternative dispute resolution so that we can cater legal services to the needs of each individual client.