Divorce is a life-altering experience for Arizona couples, no matter how well you take it. One of the biggest decisions you must make when getting divorced is which legal pathway to follow. Several options are available, and each has advantages and disadvantages.
If you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your divorce, including property division, child custody and support, you may be able to file for a do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce. This is the most affordable and straightforward legal path, but it’s only suitable for couples who have no disputes and can work together amicably, something that seems rare in today’s world.
Mediation is when a neutral third party helps you and your spouse agree on divorce terms. This is a more affordable and less stressful option than going to court, and it can be helpful if you and your spouse are having trouble agreeing on some issues. The mediator can assist in facilitating discussions and negotiations and help prepare the legal paperwork necessary to finalize the process.
Collaborative divorce involves each party hiring their own attorney to represent their interests, but instead of going to court, the parties cooperate to reach an agreement. Collaborative divorce can be a good option for couples who want to maintain a civil relationship and avoid the all-out conflict of traditional litigation.
If you and your spouse cannot follow the previous options, you may need to take your case to court. Litigation can be lengthy and expensive, but it’s sometimes necessary to ensure a fair outcome if neither side is willing to compromise. In litigation, each party will hire an attorney, and the court will decide on issues such as property division, child custody, and support.
Arbitration is similar to litigation, but instead of going to court, you and your spouse agree to have a neutral third party, called an arbitrator, decide on the issues in your divorce. The arbitrator’s decision is binding, meaning you and your spouse must accept the outcome. This option can be faster and less expensive than going to court, but it may hide pitfalls if the arbitrator isn’t neutral.
Having a fair divorce
Choosing a legal pathway for your divorce can be stressful, but it’s essential to consider all options before making a decision. Each option has pros and cons; what works for one couple may not be ideal for another. You can protect your interests during the divorce process by choosing the best option for your situation.