Divorcing amicably without going to court

‘Til Divorce Do Us Apart

Not all divorces have to be prosaically ugly and messy, involving property disagreements, pre-nuptials and prolonged custody battles. If both spouses want to keep dignity and integrity intact, settling out of court is not just possible, but makes for a more straightforward procedure. Learn what each spouse needs to bring to the table to divorce amicably and legally.

Is Divorcing Amicably Applicable to You?

Divorcing amicably or settling a separation out of court is not just a pipe-dream. Even though countless celebrity couples grace the front covers of magazines for their infamous custody battles, that isn’t always the norm. The truth is that many couples can choose to craft a divorce agreement in a collaborative and open manner, leading to a sane divorce process during an otherwise emotionally turbulent time. The main point is that each party can come to the table with a willingness to negotiate. They may not even have to agree on the basic things like division of property, finances and custody (though this is always a plus when divorcing amicably). Their marriage is ending, but that doesn’t mean their points have to differ. If each spouse can treat the other with respect and can honor their spouse’s role while taking responsibility for their part in the dissolution, then items like spousal support can be negotiated as one would discuss an employment contract.

Alternative Dispute Methods

In the case of divorcing amicably, the devil is, in a negative sense, always in the details. Some soon-to-be ex-partners would do well to always keep the bigger picture in mind and be able to ‘zoom out’; after all, no one wants to waste time arguing over who gets which piece of furniture, so a little give and take is absolutely necessary. In this case, alternative dispute resolution methods could prove useful in divorcing amicably. Spouses can start with drafting their own divorce agreement and enter into a discussion together. Yet, even informal negotiations work best with lawyers present–this is not a sign of being adversarial but, rather, simply having expertise in the room that can help guide the discussion. Mediation sessions, for example, allow spouses to openly and freely air grievances while lawyers and legal representation can act as ‘coaches’. Arbitration is another form of alternative dispute resolution, though there is more of a structure to this method and it involves a third-party being present, besides legal representatives, who will make final judgments based on each spouse’s arguments.