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It is not uncommon for people to imagine that a lengthy and costly battle in the courtroom is necessary when going through a divorce. In some cases, both parties do have to go to court to secure the fair settlement they both deserve. However, the vast majority of divorces in Clinton Township are not that contentious. As throughout the rest of Michigan, there are many ways to resolve the issues divorce presents. A divorce lawyer in Clinton Township can help you understand which option is best in your case.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation requires both parties to meet with a neutral third party mediator. The mediator is not allowed to provide legal advice, but rather will try to foster communication between the two people to reach an agreement that will resolve all issues of the divorce. If an agreement is reached during mediation, it is then submitted to the court for approval. After the judge approves the agreement, they will issue a divorce decree, and the divorce will be final.
A collaborative divorce is another form of alternative dispute resolution that can resolve the issues in a divorce. Collaborative law, as its name implies, involves many more parties than mediation. The meetings do not involve a mediator but both parties may be in attendance, as well as their attorneys. It is not uncommon for collaborative law to use experts that can advise on the case. Vocational experts may advise on a spouse’s earning potential, while a psychologist may advise on matters pertaining to the children in the marriage.
Collaborative law requires compromise, just like mediation does. To foster this compromise, the attorneys typically agree to withdraw themselves from the case if collaboration does not work. If the case does proceed to litigation, the two spouses then need to find new attorneys.
If your divorce case enters litigation, you will have to go to trial and a judge will make all final decisions in your case. Litigation is time-consuming because the parties involved are at the mercy of the court’s schedule, which is often backlogged. A litigated divorce is also often more combative because sometimes, the two parties could not reach an agreement and disputes have already arisen along the way.
A judge will make their decision on all issues after hearing arguments from both sides. Once the judge issues their orders, they are binding and the only way to change them is to seek a modification. Modifications are not always easy to obtain and typically require a significant change of circumstances.
If you are getting a divorce, you have a lot on your mind, including what type of divorce you want. At Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., our knowledgeable divorce lawyer in Clinton Township will review the facts of your case and advise on the option best for you. Call us now or fill out our online form to schedule a free case review and to obtain the sound legal advice you need.