Adversarial divorce is perhaps the most visible type of divorce in pop culture. With this approach, both parties hire a divorce lawyer to hash out the divorce in court. This is a lengthy process that can lead to fighting over every detail of the settlement. The adversarial approach usually leads to a trial in court.
During a divorce, couples have other options besides duking it out in court to the bitter end. Other approaches to divorce tend to be faster, more affordable and potentially less stressful than the traditional, adversarial structure.
- Uncontested divorce can be used in cases where both parties are in agreement about the exact terms of the divorce already. In most cases, just one lawyer is hired. The attorney does all the court filings and legal aspects of the divorce. This approach is only ideal if absolutely no negotiation between the parties is necessary.
- Pro se divorce is a divorce in which both parties represent themselves instead of hiring attorneys. This practice is not usually recommended because it is so difficult for someone without experience in divorce law to handle the process alone. Many people who choose the pro se approach still meet with a lawyer for advice.
- Collaborative divorce is the most popular option. In a collaborative divorce, both parties agree to work out the divorce settlement amicably instead of going to trial. Each parties hires an attorney, and the attorneys work together to come to an agreement. In order to successfully go through a collaborative divorce, both parties should agree to stop working with any attorney who doesn’t succeed in reaching an agreement.
- Mediation is a commonly used tool in divorce, especially collaborative divorce. During mediation, both parties and their attorneys meet with a mediator, who may be an uninvolved divorce attorney. The mediator works with both sides to establish a mutually acceptable settlement.
Whichever approach you and your spouse take to divorce, you should begin by hiring an expert divorce lawyer to represent your interests.