The 4 Categories a Couple Falls Into When You Seek A Divorce
If you feel that your marriage is not working out and that it cannot be saved then the first thing you should do is speak to your spouse if you have not already. You need to determine the level of cooperation they will give you in the process in order to know how to proceed. Your partner may completely agree and be willing to work with you to have things accomplished as smoothly as possible, somewhat agree, disagree, or be completely uncooperative.
The first category is when you and your spouse are in complete agreement and can fully cooperate. This is when you speak to your spouse and find out they agree the marriage is not working out and both of you can work through everything that you need to in order to get a divorce. Although this is not as common as it could be, this would be ideal. Then you could divorce the easy way. You could come to an attorney who could draw up papers for you and submit them to court on your behalf.
The second category is when you and your spouse can communicate and be rational enough that you do not feel the need to have a court decide the details of your divorce. In this category you simply need a 3rd party to help you both negotiate the best terms of the divorce. Now you can utilize mediation which is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where you and your soon to be ex-spouse meet with a neutral third party. The mediator works with you to address and resolve all of the issues that need to be agreed upon to end your marriage.
The third category you and your spouse may fall into is when you and your spouse can somewhat agree and are willing to be rational about the process, but fear that things may devolve into a fight. When you find yourself in this category you will want to use a method called collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is one of the newest methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which each spouse retains their own counsel. Both attorneys and both spouses sign an agreement and commit to achieving a negotiated outcome. All parties in this method agree not to commence a lawsuit or litigate during the process.
The fourth category is when neither you nor your spouse can agree at all on the divorce and you are going to need a court to intervene. If there is just no chance or no way to get them to reason even when working with a neutral party, then you need to lawyer up and go to court. Using litigation as a method to get a divorce is when each spouse hires their own independent counsel and every aspect of the divorce is decided through the court.
If you are ready to proceed or if you are not sure what category you and your spouse fall into, you may find it easiest to get help to determine if your situation fits one of the four categories. You should schedule an appointment with a divorce lawyer like Sabra Sasson to help you make the best decision.
For more information on the methods of divorce see: http://nextchapterblog.new-york-divorce-mediation.com/2011/11/what-is-divorce-and-are-different-options-available/