Settle Your Divorce Out Of Court And Save Money

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Almost half of marriages today end in divorce. Many end for one of the following reasons: high expectations that don’t materialize. One or both parties are unfaithful. You and your spouse are incompatible. You are rigid, meaning both of you want things your own way and cannot compromise. Lastly, there is an extreme lack of communication.


Although divorce for any reason is difficult and can be expensive, if you find yourself in the midst of a divorce because of a lack of communication or because your spouse is rigid or both, you will find the settlement phase especially difficult.


No matter how difficult it will be to agree on a settlement with your estranged spouse, your divorce will not be final until all five of the following issues are resolved. Three of these issues concern your children: Child Custody, Child Support, and Visitation.


The fourth area is Division of Marital Property, and the fifth is Alimony. Regardless of whether you settle out of court or go to trial, these issues must be resolved before your divorce is final.


Of course, if you go to court, there will be a winner and a loser, or it would appear. In monetary terms, however, due to attorney fees and other expenses, winning may cost you a lot of money, not to mention the emotional cost, especially if you have children together.


In addition to high court costs, you may have to take time away from work. On the other hand, if you are a full-time homemaker, at the very least, going to court will interrupt your daily routine and activities.


If you have children, this interruption could be a major consideration, plus the fact that you will be spending your children’s college money. Consider also that attorney fees required for trial and expert witnesses may climb into the thousands of dollars.


Just getting to trial may take a long time for reasons out of your attorney’s control. Remember, too, that a judge may not render a ruling but take your case under advisement, which could be for weeks or months. There is also the appeals process, which means paying more lawyer fees.


At the end of a trial, one party wins and one party loses. The judge is constrained by the legislature in how he must rule, whereas you can be a lot more creative in crafting an agreement than a judge can.


For these reasons you should try to settle out of court, especially if your finances are not ideal. Following are some popular alternatives to divorce court.


  • Alternative dispute resolution — Parties employ the services of a neutral third party. Cases are private and resolved fairly quickly with less hostility.


  • Divorce mediation — Parties work together with a neutral third party, or mediator, who facilitates and evaluates the settlement sometimes with input from a divorce attorney.


  • Divorce arbitration — Parties select a neutral third party, called an arbitrator, who makes a decision on the divorce, instead of a judge, which expedites the procedure.


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