Divorce is a complicated and difficult process. Even in an uncontested divorce, one in which both parties agree on all the key issues, the case must go through a series of legal processes before a judge can approve an agreement and grant a divorce. It can be difficult to know where to start. Here are two tips on what you might do when you are either considering divorce or have made the decision to move forward with it.
Consider Marriage Counseling
If you or your spouse are at all on the fence about divorce, you should consider seeking marriage counseling first. Divorce is a serious matter and a long process. Even a simple uncontested divorce can take months from the date someone makes the decision to get a divorce to the date the divorce is finalized. It is not something to enter into lightly or impulsively.
A marriage counselor can help you and your spouse identify areas of disagreement, dissatisfaction, or conflict in the marriage. If you give counseling a chance, you can hopefully gain a better understanding of your marriage and yourself. You and your spouse might conclude that you can work through the problems and your marriage can be saved.
Find the Right Attorney
Once one or both of you have decided that the marriage cannot be saved and that divorce is the best way to go, an attorney who is trained to handle your case through mediation or collaborative divorce can help you find the best way forward before and during the legal process. You should look for someone who will handle your divorce the way you want. Some divorce lawyers lean towards an aggressive approach to their cases in the courtroom, while others prefer a more conciliatory approach based on negotiation and mediation. Divorce lawyers who practice collaborative divorce place their emphasis on finding an amicable resolution to the case. If you do not want to throw fuel onto the fire, you probably want someone who is oriented towards peaceful settlements.
Online research can help you learn about the divorce lawyers in your area. Referrals from friends, family members, and others can give you an idea of how different lawyers operate. You should not be afraid to ask questions of the attorneys you are considering, including asking how they would handle different situations. If your goal is to settle the divorce, you want a lawyer who will work with you to achieve that goal, not someone who will get caught up in the process with a focus on “winning.”
If you are considering a divorce, contact Kim Mediation and Law Center for a consultation.