Collaborative divorce and mediation are becoming more popular for many who are seeking a divorce. The decision to end a marriage and file for divorce is a difficult one for many in Ohio. When it cannot be avoided, however, there are alternatives to the traditional litigation process to consider.

Couples choosing to divorce typically face many issues. These may include spousal support, child custody and the division of property collected over the years of marriage. When parties cannot agree on terms, it is the court that considers what is best for the children and most equitable for the spouses as it awards custody and maintenance and decides any other unresolved issues.

In mediation, a divorcing couple uses an independent third party. This person often meets with the spouses and their representatives and facilitates a negotiation. Like the issues traditionally determined by a court, the negotiation can include all aspects of the dissolution. In many cases, if the Ohio couple comes to an agreement, the court approves the decisions and the divorce can be finalized.

Many feel that the alternatives to traditional divorce, such as collaboration or mediation, can save a couple time and stress as they complete the process. Using the negotiation process can offer a sense of control for spouses. They are able to make their own decisions rather than having the court decide for them. Divorce is understandably a time of emotional upheaval for a family. When spouses find that they can no longer remain in their marriage, looking into these alternatives may be a benefit for them.

Source: Forbes, “The Four Divorce Alternatives,” Jeff Landers, April 24, 2012