5 Paths for Your Divorce Course of

You made the decision to get a divorce. Now is the time to determine how to get a divorce. How are you going to make all of these important decisions with your spouse when they are difficult to talk to?

Tips on how to get divorced

There are five main paths you can consider during the divorce process, as detailed below. If you and your spouse agree, you can choose the path that best suits your situation. If you disagree, one of you must file a petition for divorce. They will likely each hire lawyers to represent you (litigation).

1. Self submission

If you have no children, significant assets, or debts, and are not talking about support from your spouse, you can consider self-filing. You and your spouse would fill out, sign, and submit the forms to Co-Petition for Dissolution. You can obtain the package of required forms from the clerk’s office in your county. In some countries, you can also find forms online with clear instructions on how to submit yourself.

If your divorce is more complex (children, a home, spousal support, etc.) you can still register yourself. However, you can expose yourself to more legal, financial, and tax risks if you file without professional assistance.

2. Divorce mediation

A divorce mediator will work with the two of you to guide you through understanding, negotiating, and making decisions on any divorce-related issues. The mediator will write a detailed agreement that will then be filed with the court and become your legal divorce settlement.

You can experience many benefits of mediation, including lower cost, time, and conflict. You don’t need to have good relationships with your spouse to mediate. Mediators have numerous problem-solving and conflict resolution tools that will keep you productive on the way to resolution.

Mediation is not appropriate in situations where domestic violence prevails or where one of the parties lacks the mental capacity to make decisions.

3. Collaborative divorce

In a collaborative divorce, you each hire an attorney who has been trained in collaborative techniques. This format will help both of you find a healthy, respectful solution, as opposed to the aggressively controversial approach of many traditionally trained family law attorneys.

Collaborative divorce lawyers often work with other neutral specialists (including divorce coaches, a child counselor, and a financial advisor) as part of a team approach. The divorce team then communicates with each other to help you find a solution that is best for the whole family.

4. Divorce arbitration

If you mutually agree to hire a private arbitrator, you will submit your case and settlement proposals to the arbitrator. The arbitrator hears the facts and decides on the disputed facts. Arbitrators are usually very experienced family law attorneys or retired judges in family courts.

You can represent yourself, but most people hire a lawyer to represent them. In binding arbitration, you both sign a contract to accept whatever the arbitrator decides on your case. Binding arbitration works in a similar way to litigation, with lower costs and paperwork, as the person who acts as the “judge” is hired privately by the spouses. You can also use “non-binding arbitration” that does not require you to follow the arbitrators’ decisions.

5. Divorce disputes

With the traditional litigation approach, you would hire a divorce lawyer to file a dissolution motion against your spouse. Once legal notice is served, your spouse’s attorney will file a counter petition to respond to and dispute the divorce. From then on, your lawyers will negotiate with each other. Every lawyer advocates the best outcome for his clients and discourages any direct communication between spouses.

Approximately 80-90% of family law cases in litigation are settled before legal proceedings. Your lawyers will usually pressure each of you to compromise on some issues as the trial date approaches. Cases that are not resolved in advance will be “heard” by a family judge (not a jury). During the trial, each attorney submits the case to the judge through testimony (including spouses) and supporting documents (exhibits). The most conflicting and costly divorce disputes relate to conflicts over custody and custody of family therapists.

All paths are not the same

You may see significant differences in these five paths. The five options presented in this article are a continuum in terms of several factors. Starting with number one, as you go down the list, you will find increased cost, conflict, and time in the process. You will also experience fewer options, control, and input over the outcome of your case.

This article is an abridged version of How to Get a Divorce in Oregon.

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