Legally marrying can look very different for every couple. Some people choose to marry in a church in front of a pastor; some choose to have an ordained friend perform an outdoor ceremony; some choose to go down to the courthouse and get married by a judge.
And just as there are different ways to get married, there are different ways to end a marriage. In this post, we will look at three options people have when they get divorced.
Many divorcing spouses resolve divorce-related matters through mediation. This process involves parties working together with the help of a mediator (and individual attorneys) to resolve issues like child custody, spousal support and property division.
Mediation has numerous benefits. It can be less expensive and less adversarial than other options. However, it is not the best option for everyone, including people with complex marital estates and those in high-conflict situations.
A collaborative divorce, like mediation, is an alternative dispute resolution method that allows parties to resolve legal issues outside of a courtroom. In a collaborative divorce, parties still work together to reach agreements, though they will also work more with their attorneys and other professionals.
Collaborative divorce has benefits similar to mediation in that it keeps people out of court and focuses on cooperation over conflict. However, everyone involved must commit to the collaborative process. If it is unsuccessful, parties must retain new counsel and start over.
There are also divorces that play out in court in front of a judge. In these divorces, both parties present their case to a judge who then makes a ruling on issues.
Litigation can be necessary when parties cannot agree on certain issues, if they have complex assets or if there are concerns about safety. However, it can be the most expensive and time-consuming option. It can also be more contentious than the other options, as parties do not need to cooperate in order to secure an agreement.
No matter which type of process you navigate for your divorce, understand that you must comply with Pennsylvania state laws and legal requirements. As such, it can be wise to have the help of an attorney who is familiar with each of these methods and can advise you on your legal options every step of the way. Both attorneys at Purdy Law Office, LLC are trained mediators, collaborative attorneys and experienced litigators, so they are able to assit you with whichever process is the best fit for you.