Marriages are supposed to last, but several factors can force the couple to consider divorcing and ending their marriage. Divorce often results in loneliness, isolation, depression, and low self-esteem. That is why couples should consider alternatives to traditional divorce.
Here are divorce alternatives to consider.
Sometimes, couples need to live apart for a while to let things cool down. The couple can choose judicial separation, in which they remain legally married but don’t live together. Of course, you can also arrange the separation yourself. Couples that choose separation maintain the financial arrangement that existed in the marriage. For example, the couple continues to own family financial accounts and property jointly.
Separation is the perfect way for the couple to know how divorce will feel. The couples get to know whether they are happier staying away from one another. Separation also helps the spouses to know how they will raise children after divorce. After staying separated for a while, you will better understand whether you want to reconcile, divorce, or extend the separation agreement.
Court battles can be expensive and drain both spouses’ resources. If a couple decides to end the marriage but doesn’t want to spend too much on legal fees, the pair can choose divorce mediation. The couple will approach a neutral party to assist them in coming to a mutual agreement about their separation or divorce. The neutral party helps the couple agree on property division, financial support, and custody arrangements.
Once the neutral party and the couple agree on the divorce plan, they will invite an attorney to review the document and ensure both parties benefit. Each spouse then signs the mediation agreement to make it legally binding. Mediation usually takes a few months, whereas divorce in court can take several years. But the process is only beneficial if you understand all the facts of your marriage, including your spouse’s liabilities and assets.
A divorce court legally ends a marriage but acknowledges that the marriage existed. After the divorce, one partner may have to pay for the upkeep of the other spouse. Such occurs if one partner sacrificed their career to take care of children while the other partner advanced their career. The result is that legal records continue to show that the spouses were married at some point.
In contrast, an annulment completely erases any record of the marriage. While the couple may have to share property acquired during the marriage, one partner isn’t obligated to pay for the upkeep of the other partner. Annulments are common for marriages that existed for a short time and where one partner did not sacrifice their earning potential for the sake of the family.
With annulment, the law no longer acknowledges that the marriage ever happened. However, if the couple had children during the marriage, the law will continue to consider those children a product of the annulled marriage.
4. Collaborative Divorce
Divorcing parties can agree to handle the divorce on their own. Each spouse will hire an attorney to provide legal counsel. The spouses and their attorneys will then meet to discuss the divorce arrangement. Couples may also hire financial planners to advise them on splitting property and other assets.
For custody arrangements, couples can hire a therapist to support the family during the divorce process. Once the couple has agreed on the divorce details and signed the documents, they will deposit those documents with the family court. If the couple doesn’t agree on divorce proceedings, they will have to hire new attorneys to start the process again or go to divorce court.
Whichever type of divorce alternative you choose, you should always work with an attorney. The Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC, can help you make legal decisions that are in your best interests. We also provide mediation, adoption, child support, and child custody legal services. Contact us now to get started.