Divorce, by its very nature, is a conflictual event. Two people decide they wish to dissolve their marriage, or, in many cases, one person makes that decision and the other person must cope with the fallout from it. This is one of those life situations that is ripe for anger, discord and open arguments.
However, not every divorce is laden with animosity and drawn-out battles. Some couples manage to move through the divorce process in a relatively amicable way. Here are some options for facing divorce in a low-conflict manner.
Alternative dispute resolution
Alternative dispute resolution, also referred to as ADR, is one way that divorcing couples can resolve their differences and come to solutions and decisions while avoiding outright conflict and legal battles. ADR is a technique used in many types of legal conflicts, not only divorce. The New York Courts define ADR as processes including neutral evaluation, collaborative law, mediation and arbitration.
In a divorce, couples may find mediation and collaborative law useful in helping them work out their differences and find mutually satisfying solutions. One of the great benefits of ADR in divorce is that it allows the couple to retain control over the decision-making process rather than turning it over to a judge. Skilled mediators and lawyers trained in collaborative law are able to assist couples in working through the difficult steps in negotiating a divorce. If ADR is successful, the couple can avoid the costly burden of a long court battle.
An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties are able to come to an agreement on the major issues and agree to proceed with the divorce. This type of divorce usually takes much less time than a contested divorce that goes through the court system.
An uncontested divorce still requires the presence and skill of a family law attorney to help guide the parties through the process and complete the necessary legal steps and paperwork for filing. However, this type of legal assistance is usually a much quicker and less costly process than contested divorces in which the parties cannot come to an agreement on important issues. If you feel you may benefit from this type of divorce assistance, you should seek a consultation with a qualified family law attorney to learn about your options.