When preparing for a divorce, the most important concepts are:
1. Process choice, and;
2. Get informed!
The courts are clogged with people who have seen one too many episodes of “reality tv” divorces, with more plot twists and vengeance-seeking than a Summer action movie.
The reality is that your divorce can often be more cost efficient and have a more satisfying outcome if you chose a process other than litigation for you divorce.
Mediation and collaborative divorce will both get you divorced with a judgment signed by a judge that you agree upon.
Which process is good for you?
Here is the simple test. I will try to narrow it down to the lowest common denominators. Trust and complexity.
Trust: First as yourself what is the basic trust level you have.
1. For example, are you both pretty familiar with the finances?
2. Or, is there a hidden Swiss bank account one of you don't know about?
3. Do you trust the other parent’s competency as a parent?
4. Or, is there something deeply concerning about your spouse’s parenting abilities?
If you answered yes to 1 and 3, mediation and the collaborative divorce process may be a much better fit for your family, and your pocketbook.
Complexity: How complex are your assets or the situation with the kids?
1. Do you have a home and some investments, including accounts, and additional properties? Are you both employed? Or,
2. Do you have several businesses nationwide held in various partnerships, corporations, etc… together with intellectual property rights?
3. With respect to the kids, are you planning on living in the same city? No history of abuse? Is there basic competency?
4. Is there an abusive relationship?
If you answered yes to 1 and 3, then your complexity is low. If you answered yes to 2 and 4, it is high. Other situations, such as special needs children, would be in the middle.
• Plot your case on the chart
• If there is low trust and extremely complex issues, then going to court may be the best decision.
• But under any other circumstances, you should definitely explore mediation and collaborative divorce. They will save you time money and emotional peace.