A divorce is the dissolution of a marriage, ending the legal agreement that two spouses made to each other when they wed. This is different from an annulment where the marriage is declared void and essentially erased.
While annulments have specific requirements, divorces can happen for any reason (or no reason at all).
Still, the way you go about divorcing your spouse can vary depending on the state of your relationship with your spouse. Ultimately, your divorce will either be negotiated, which means it stays out of the courts, or it will be litigated, which involves a judge who ultimately decides the outcome of the divorce.
The path taken largely depends on the relationship between the two spouses at the time of divorce. To get a better understanding, let’s take a closer look.
Negotiated Divorces are Less Messy
If possible, it’s best to work with your spouse through the divorcing process. While this isn’t easy, it’s more common than you might think. In fact, the majority of divorces happen outside of a courtroom. Negotiated divorces can happen in a few ways.
A mediation is when you and your spouse forgo attorneys and utilize a neutral mediator. You’ll sit in a room with the mediator and your soon-to-be-ex to determine the terms of the divorce. While this is the simplest and most cost-effective way to divorce, it’s pretty rare.
Additionally, it could put you at risk of misunderstanding your rights, since you don’t have a legal expert on your side.
A collaborative divorce brings attorneys into the mix. Both you and your spouse have your own attorney present when meeting. This allows you to work with an attorney who is representing your interest and has full knowledge of your legal rights.
Finally, there’s cooperative divorce. This involves you and your spouse working only through your respective attorneys to come to terms. You meet with your attorney, who then meets with your spouse’s attorney. Terms are negotiated by proxy until a conclusion is reached.
A cooperative divorce is best in situations where directly interacting with your ex proves too emotional, but you both wish to keep things out of court.
Litigation May Be Necessary
While most prefer to keep their divorce out of court, you may not have another option. Divorces can be very heated situations, with each side having drastically different views of the situation. In cases where your spouse simply won’t come to agreeable terms, it’s time to take them to court.
Whatever path you take to divorce, it’s always in your best interest to meet with an attorney. Even if you end up pursuing mediation, a prior meeting with a divorce attorney can help you understand your rights and the process ahead.
For a divorce attorney in the Springfield, Ohio area, contact Michael T. Edwards today!