3 Alternatives to Divorce

It’s a fact that no two marriages are exactly the same, and thus, it follows that there are no two divorces which work out the same, either. If you’re a woman and you are contemplating divorce, there are several options with respect to how you should proceed.

Generally, there are four broad categories to consider:

–           The do-it-yourself option

–           Mediation

–           The collaborative approach

What are the pros and cons of each of them?

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

A number of advisors – most of them, would say not to do-it-yourself. After all, divorce is complex, financially and legally. Mistakes are easily made, and mistakes could be irreversible.

There is one scenario that the DIY method might work and that’s whereby the marriage has lasted a mere couple of years or so – no kids, little or no assets or debt to be divided, no alimony, and similar incomes for both parties.

In this case, DIY divorce can be accomplished inexpensively and relatively fast. All the same, it’s recommended that the individual parties have their attorneys look over the final documents.


When a mediation is involved, the divorcing couple work with a mediator that is neutral. The mediator could be a lawyer, or may not, though, either way, they must be particularly well-versed on family and divorce law. Furthermore, the mediator must remain neutral and never advocate for anyone. Still, each party must continue to consult their individual attorneys throughout the mediation and also prior to placing a signature on the final agreement for the divorce to proceed.

Listed below are some pros and cons with respect to mediation.

The pros go like this:

–           It’s likely that mediation will result in a more harmonious future with your ex-husband, given that there will be no court battle.

–           It’s also likely that it will be easier on the kids as the divorce proceedings will probably be more amenable.

–           It will expedite things to the point of agreement.

–           Expenses will be reduced.

–           It allows you to retain more control over the divorce as you are the one who is making the decisions, where the court is not.

–           It permits more discretion. Litigated divorce is a public matter, where mediation is very private.

And the cons?

–           Might be a waste of money and time. If negotiations fall flat, you must start over.

–           Might be incomplete, or particularly favorable to one party.

–           Could result in an unenforceable agreement. And this leaves itself open to being challenged.

–           May lead to complications of legality. Issues that pertain to the law must still go under courtroom jurisdiction.

–           Might fail to uncover some assets. Financial information is purely voluntary to disclose with no subpoena of any records. Thus, assets and/ or income could be hidden.

–           Should one of the spouses be overly dominant, and the other submissive, it may not be a fair final settlement.

–           Mediation can increase the negative behavior in a spouse who has a propensity toward drugs/ alcohol/ physical/ mental abuse.

Collaborative Divorce

Putting things rather simply, collaborative divorce is when the divorcing couple agree to a divorce settlement rather than going to court.

When utilizing the method, both you as well as your husband hire an attorney to represent you. In this form of divorce settlement, it’s quite a different form of divorce in comparison to the traditional version.

The attorneys involved will assist and advise their clients so as to negotiate a settlement agreement. Though you together with your attorney will meet up with your husband as well as his attorney, there might also be other neutral parties involved, for example, a divorce financial planner. These professionals can help with various issues.

In this process, it’s up to you, your husband, and also the respective attorneys to sign to an agreement which calls on both attorneys to withdraw from the divorce case should a settlement fail to be reached, and/ or, should litigation be a threatened course of action.

If that does occur, the whole process must begin over, and you and your husband must then find fresh attorneys. Do note that, neither you nor your husband are at liberty to call on the services of the same attorneys as before.

Should the collaborative process turn out well, it’s normal practice for you to make a court appearance, at which time a judge will sign to the agreement. It’s worth noting that if the collaborative process does work, it will be far speedier and much less costly than the traditional litigation route.

For more information on divorce, get in touch with Liaise Divorce Solutions.