Divorce is one of the most difficult things a person can go through in life, and the emotional turmoil associated with it can make it hard to see some important realities regarding the whole process. Knowledge is power, so it’s important to understand some of the most common truths concerning divorce.
There are options besides litigation.
Many couples assume they must litigate during a divorce, but that isn’t true. In order to make the divorce process smoother and more cost-friendly, many couples are pursuing mediated divorces or collaborative divorces.
With a mediated divorce, a couple works with a neutral person, or third party, who is well-versed in divorce and family law. The mediator assists the divorcing couple with negotiating the terms of the divorce outside of court. The mediator doesn’t decide anything with the case, but helps both parties come to an agreement in all areas of the divorce before lawyers are involved and papers are signed. This process is more private, less expensive, informal and timesaving to couples. (It’s important to note, however, that both parties generally consult with a lawyer on their own.)
With a collaborative divorce, a couple works with attorneys and other collaborative professionals outside of court to negotiate the terms of the divorce since both parties agree they will not go to court. Each party hires a collaborative attorney and has one-on-one meetings, as well four-way meetings, to negotiate a settlement. The point of a collaborative divorce is to avoid the time and costs associated with litigation in court. If the divorce cannot be settled and needs to go to court, the process starts over with new attorneys. This process directed by the couple and it is quicker and less expensive than litigation.
Of course, litigation is sometimes necessary. If there are complicated legal or financial issues to deal with or both spouses are very quarrelsome with each other and cannot come to an agreement, litigation may be the best option. But it’s important to know that it’s not the only option.
Attorney costs can widely vary.
There is no standard, one-size-fits-all cost for divorce. It’s very rare that no disagreements come up during the divorce process and all that is needed to complete a divorce is signed paperwork. The cost will depend on a variety of things: how an attorney charges their fee, the assets in dispute, how willing both parties are to move on, paperwork, meetings and more. Because of this, costs can range from a several hundred to tens of thousand dollars.
Divorce isn’t a short procedure.
Divorces don’t happen overnight, even if both spouses want to get it over with. For starters, each state has its’ own laws regarding divorce and may have a minimum amount of days it takes to legally finalize a divorce. Also, if a couple can’t reach an agreement regarding their assets, finances or child custody, the process can take even longer than expected. Divorce proceedings generally take six months to a couple of years to finalize, but can be shorter or longer depending on each specific situation.
Contact Kafoglis Law for a consultation or more information regarding divorces.