You and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. But how will you go about it? Will you litigate or negotiate your split? The answer to this question often depends on a variety of factors. The important thing to remember when choosing a divorce approach is that a several options exist. Primarily, you may litigate your divorce or you may use an approach known as alternative dispute resolution.
If you are involved in an abusive relationship, if your spouse is a major narcissist or if you and your spouse fundamentally disagree on possible child custody arrangements for your children, then you will likely need to litigate your divorce. When opting for a litigated approach, your attorney will help you prepare for a contentious court battle with your former spouse. This approach can sometimes be lengthy and relatively expensive but it is the best approach for certain situations.
If you and your spouse remain on relatively amicable terms, if you agree on most property division and child custody matters and would like to have greater control over the ultimate outcome of your divorce settlement, then ADR may be the best approach for you.
ADR allows you to either have your divorce mediated or otherwise negotiated with less intervention from the courts. You and your spouse will still need to retain legal counsel and your divorce settlement will still need to be approved by a judge. But if you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your divorce and these terms are fair, you will have a far greater say in your settlement. ADR is also ordinarily more cost-effective and efficient than litigated approached to divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce Confidential: Should I Negotiate or Litigate My Divorce?” Caroline Choi, Sep. 25, 2013