There are so many approaches to divorce, options and paths to a healthy split today! I’m glad to see how much the legal arena has evolved to allow various approaches to family law, driven by the priorities and values of the divorcing couple.
It used to be that divorce was a dirty word, and the only option was to go to court and have a judge preside over your desire to uncouple. In those cases, families were often stigmatized, and in days of old, someone had to be at fault and women largely got custody of children.
We’ve come a long way, thankfully!
Many judges – dare I say, the good ones — are more empathetic and understanding of the variety of circumstances that can lead to a marital breakup. Likewise, they are often sensitive to how the split will affect children and the best judges make decisions with the children’s well-being in mind.
As far as how to proceed with a legal divorce, couples can choose Litigation, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce. Litigation is straight-to-court proceedings, with a judge directing the timeline for the couple and making decisions for the family when the couple cannot.
Litigation may be the only option for some couples who have animosity, abuse or resentment. Many divorces start out this way and it’s good that we have a system that can facilitate the legal breakup – but if it’s hard-going all the way through the divorce, that may forecast a tumultuous future. Many couples with children who divorce through Litigation end up back in court not long after the official Judgment of Divorce is rendered.
Mediation can be a milder approach, with two people coming to one table with a Mediator facilitating the compromises they can make to uncouple. As a certified Mediator in the state of Michigan using the Insight Approach, I love when couples choose Mediation as a way to end their marriage, because it usually means they are seeking a more peaceful dissolution.
Collaborative Divorce is dear to my heart, and an approach to family law that I am passionate about. By far the most amicable path to divorce, Collaborative assembles a team of professionals all trained in Collaborative Practice, and this team hovers around the divorcing couple to work out the best way forward.
The Collaborative Divorce team can include therapists, divorce coaches, financial planners, and more. It’s never a bad thing to have more expertise weighing in on the decisions you’ll be making for the next phase of your life!!
Whichever way you choose to go, know that you have options for how you divorce! And Transitions Legal is here to support you at the highest level.