What are the different types of divorce available?

Divorcing couples have several options available to them. These include mediation and collaborative law.

It is possible that some Georgia residents are staying in miserable marriages because they fear the expense or stress of a litigated divorce. However, it is not always necessary to go to court to end a marriage. There are a few options that may assist couples in reaching a resolution to their disputes without a judge's intervention. Also known as amicable divorce, uncontested divorce often reduces the amount of conflict during this period and can also be cost-effective.

Two of the most popular uncontested options for a divorce include mediation and collaborative law. It is important to understand how each works when considering a divorce.

Benefits of mediation

According to the American Bar Association, the mediation process involves a neutral third party who sits with the divorcing couple to facilitate discussions about their issues. This third party is usually a certified mediator, although he or she can also be an attorney with mediation experience. Many people prefer mediation for the following reasons:

• Mediation can cost a fraction of the cost of a traditional litigated divorce.

• Conflict is usually reduced, which can be especially beneficial when children are involved.

• The divorcing couple can learn valuable negotiation and communication tools.

• Mediation is private, unlike public divorce court proceedings.

Mediation works best when both spouses can treat each other with respect and listen to each other's concerns with an open mind, with regard to each other's feelings. The mediator must be unbiased, but he or she may make suggestions if the couple becomes "stuck" on an issue.

How does a collaborative divorce work?

Collaborative law, according to U.S. News, involves each spouse's own attorney and possibly other professionals, such as child therapists or financial advisors. This type of uncontested divorce may be especially helpful for those with complex parenting arrangement or asset division issues. Before beginning a collaborative divorce, each party must agree not to litigate. The process may resemble mediation in that negotiation and problem-solving strategies are used, and the process is private. However, if neither spouse can agree and the collaborative effort fails, both must retain new lawyers.

Possible reasons for litigation

In some cases, going to court may be the best option. This includes cases in which domestic violence or substance abuse were present during the marriage, or if one spouse feels intimidated by the other. An experienced Georgia family law attorney may be able to advise you on the type of divorce that is likely to be the most effective for your situation.