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Many people going through a divorce envision a lengthy and bitter courtroom battle and sometimes, that is necessary to secure fair terms for both parties. Not all divorces have to be so contentious, though. There are many methods for getting divorced in Michigan, and a Washington Township law firm will not only fully explain what those are, but will also help you through whichever process is best for you.
Facilitative mediation, as its name implies, is meant to facilitate communication and compromise between the two parties. During mediation, the two parties meet with a third-party mediator who will encourage them to come to an agreement on all terms of the divorce. The mediator is a neutral third party and does not provide legal advice.
Many people think that mediation can only be entered into once the divorce process has begun, but that is not true. A couple may enter mediation even before filing for divorce, which can make the process move much more quickly. Mediation can take as little as just one session, or may take several sessions over the course of many weeks. When an agreement is reached during mediation, it is then filed with the court for a judge to approve and finalize.
Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation due to the fact that it takes place out of court and allows the couple to reach an agreement. However, collaborative law involves many more people than mediation. This method of divorce can involve the two parties, their attorneys, and other experts, including financial professionals and childcare specialists who can advise on certain terms of the divorce. Like in mediation, both spouses are encouraged to partake in discussions, but an attorney will likely engage in negotiations with the other side.
Litigation, or going to trial during a divorce, is the most costly and usually the most time-consuming method for getting a divorce. It is also typically the most contentious because litigation usually means that the two parties could not reach an agreement. The spouses do not engage a lot in the litigation process, although they are present at all hearings. Instead, the lawyers for each side will make arguments about different terms of the divorce. At the end of the litigation process, a judge will make all decisions, which is one of the biggest drawbacks of litigation. Spouses going through divorce will have much more control over the process when they choose mediation or a collaborative divorce.
There is a lot of the divorce process that is confusing for those going through it. The method you choose for your case is just one of those complexities. If you are considering divorce, our Washington Township divorce law firm, Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., can help. After reviewing your case free of charge, we will advise on the best method for your divorce and help you through the entire process. Call us today or contact us online to arrange a meeting with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.