Frustrated couple sitting with divorce papers

The 3 Types of Divorce Processes

What Are the 3 Different Types of Divorce?

After you and your spouse have made the often painful decision to end your marriage, you must then choose how you will proceed with your divorce. At this point, you have more than one path from which to choose. No one option may be right for everyone but it is important that you understand what each one entails in order to avoid making a decision that seems right at the time but later on ends up costing you dearly. The three types: (1) litigated divorce, (2) collaborative divorce and mediation, and (3) do-it-yourself divorce.

1. Litigated Divorce

The most well-known and traditional method of getting a divorce is referred to as the litigated divorce, notes Forbes. In this scenario, you and your to-be former spouse each hire separate attorneys. Each lawyer is tasked with working toward a settlement best for his or her client. The time and cost involved in a litigated divorce can vary greatly depending upon how efficiently both parties are able to come to agreements on issues.

Parties who litigate take their divorce to the family court to resolve issues they cannot agree on. However, they are choosing to rely on an outdated and backlogged court system. You and your family are not served by the courts' best interests. In addition, the litigation process can be emotionally and mentally draining. Your children can also be adversely affected by litigation. The memories of the battles fought during litigation stay with them for the rest of their lives.

2. Collaborative Divorce and Mediation

Collaborative divorce and mediation have both emerged in recent years as viable alternatives to the litigated divorce. A faster process lowered costs and reduced conflict are stated as the primary reasons or benefits of these options. With collaborative divorce, attorneys are still required for both spouses and other professionals may also be utilized. These professionals still guide the effort toward resolution. When a mediator is used, that person simply works to help you and your spouse come to your own agreements. In some rare cases, these agreements may not be fair to both parties or even be enforceable.

Mediation in divorce involves meeting with a neutral third-party mediator to end your marriage. Discussing property, custody, child support, and other financial matters is the goal. Furthermore, you aim to be cordial and prioritize what is right for both of you and your children.

The legal fees you incur when you choose mediation are under your control. You cannot obtain legal advice from a mediator, even if one is present. It is still prudent to consult an attorney to ensure your rights are protected. You decide how long and how often you will use your attorney's services in divorce mediation. So, you can manage your legal fees and use your attorney as a divorce consultant who can give you legal advice as needed.

3. Do-It-Yourself Divorce

There is also the do-it-yourself divorce which can result in errors that are unable to be corrected.

DIY divorce is often considered a way to save money, but if you make a mistake, it can actually cost you more. Would you want to mess up your child's financial well-being or taxes for the next decade? If your divorce isn't extremely straightforward, then a divorce lawyer can help a lot. You cannot possibly know every consequence of every action taken in a divorce, but we are trained to think about it.

This isn't something as straightforward as buying a car, so it's confusing to fill out all the forms. You could have unintended financial consequences if you make an error or miscalculate something, such as paying your ex too much money for spousal or child support or not getting your fair share of the property. As a result, you may even get fewer quality hours with your children than you would have otherwise. Even if your final agreements turn out to be unfair, you'll still have to comply with them - even if you find out down the road that they weren't fair. Have you considered everything, including who will pay for your son's college and how retirement funds factor in?

If you are interested in learning more about divorce options, you can visit the New Jersey marital dissolution page on our website at any time.