Legal Options for an Amicable Divorce

By Katie Wilson

Divorce is a process that doesn’t just wreak havoc on your emotions, it also wrecks your finances and leaves you in debt more often than not. To minimize these impacts, you and your spouse could try and reach an amicable divorce, one that lets you separate as friends and also saves you quite a large amount of money. If you’re looking for legal help, but still want to keep your battle out of the courtroom and the prying eyes of the public, here are a few options that allow you to divorce amicably:

•    Hire just one lawyer: While both husband and wife cannot retain the same attorney, if they’ve already agreed to go in for a divorce that’s not acrimonious and have reached a satisfactory conclusion as to the division of property and custody of children, if any, one of them can hire a lawyer to take care of the legal aspects of the divorce. The attorney takes care of all the paperwork and handles the court-related issues pertinent to the divorce. The spouse who retains the attorney is required to draft a document that prohibits the attorney from doing anything that is likely to cause friction between husband and wife and ruin the amicability of the divorce. Hiring one lawyer who is on the same side as both husband and wife as opposed to two who are on opposite sides and hence likely to prolong the case is bound to save the couple a large sum of money.

•    Go in for a collaborative divorce: In a collaborative divorce, both husband and wife hire their own attorneys, but the legal representatives are required to sign a contract that states that they will work with each to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement. If such a settlement is not reached, the lawyers must withdraw from the case, a clause that removes the possibility of either or both lawyers trying to initiate litigation in order to gain a higher fee.

•    Go in for dispute resolution: Dispute resolution allows you to settle your differences outside court. There are two forms, both of which feature a third party, neutral arbitrator – Arbitration in which the decree of the arbitrator is binding, that is, both husband and wife must accept his or her ruling as they would in a court; and Mediation where they’re not required to accept the decision of the arbitrator if they’re not satisfied with it.


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