How to file for divorce is one of the first things couples that suddenly find themselves at an emotional impasse may wonder about. The answer may be more complicated than you think. There is actually more than one option open to couples who are considering divorce and it may be worth their while to weigh each one before they choose to go forward.
When most people think of the divorce process, they picture the traditional two-attorney approach. Each spouse hires an attorney to represent them and the two attorneys hash out the details of the divorce and eventually bring the case before a judge. That is certainly one way to go about it, but another valid option is divorce mediation.
What exactly is mediation?
It’s when both spouses sit down together at regularly scheduled meetings and discuss their issues with the help of an unrelated third party. In some cases, there may even be multiple parties who act as co-mediators. The advantage here is having someone else in the room who is not directly or emotionally involved in the process and can help the couple figure out how to file for divorce with a minimal amount of effort and damage.
This may sound pretty obvious, but having that third person who can look at things objectively and help to guide the conversation between feuding spouses in a more constructive direction can make a world of difference. This is true whether the split is an amicable one or the spouses have difficulty seeing eye to eye on anything. That’s why so many couples are opting for divorce mediation these days.
On a more practical note, when discussing how to file for divorce the two attorney approach may not be the best one as it can take much longer and cost a lot more. Paying two attorneys instead of one mediator can add up. Plus, couples that opt for the mediation process are usually committed to working out an agreement and are more willing to do what it takes to finish the process as quickly as possible.
Another major benefit of divorce mediation is keeping to a set schedule of appointments.
This way both parties know exactly what to expect and can prepare for those sessions. And from an emotional standpoint, having a mediator help to nudge things along can allow both parties to feel as if they are able to speak out and be heard, which is much healthier.
Of course, even with mediation there is still the legal question of how to file for divorce. Once the sessions are over and an agreement has been reached, that formal agreement, signed by both parties, is then brought before a judge. The judge reads the agreement and makes a final decision based upon it and the divorce is then legally finalized.
Whether you opt to go with the traditional two-attorney approach or lean toward divorce mediation, the important thing is to make the process as smooth and easy as possible on all parties involved, including the children. And remember divorce is not the only option you have. There are many positive alternatives to consider before taking that step.
The author of this blog is not an attorney and the information contained in these blogs should not be considered legal advice. The information provided here is based on the experience of the author and some of her clients whose actual names are not mentioned. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of an attorney if you have any legal questions.