If you and your spouse have determined that ending your marriage is the best course of action or merely the inevitable conclusion, divorce proceedings in court are not your only option.
Divorce litigation and dispute resolution through mediation both offer individual advantages and disadvantages. Deciding how to proceed depends upon the specific circumstances of your separation.
Mediation offers a private and cost-effective way for spouses to come to an agreement on how to settle their divorce. Both spouses must agree upon and hire one mediator to manage meeting sessions. This mediator will act as an objective facilitator to help you resolve issues. With this method, the divorcing couple has more control over timetables and distribution of assets, but success depends upon agreement by both parties. If you anticipate your negotiations will be somewhat civil and lead to an eventual compromise, this may be the best course of action.
While it may be highly advantageous for high-asset divorces to get settled via mediation, sometimes that route is not a viable option for couples. Litigation can be expensive, time-consuming and may expose personal details to the public. However, if no resolution is in sight via mediation, this option allows a judge to make the decisions that you and your spouse were unable to agree upon. Highly contemptuous divorces may require a court to make the final decisions.
Divorce is a difficult process to navigate. While knowing your options will help you make informed choices, there will be stress associated with whichever path you choose.