Couples who decide that a divorce is the best way to proceed may want to expedite the process. Yet as Ohio readers might expect, fighting over divorce issues in court generally will not accomplish that goal. Rather, with the help of an experienced divorce attorney, a couple may be able to reach agreements out of court, presenting proposals to the court for approval only after they’ve been finalized.
Readers might be surprised at the extent to which a couple can minimize the involvement of a divorce court. Issues such as marital property division, spousal support and child support can all be raised in less formal settings. There are several advantages to this approach.
First, litigation generally comes with court-ordered deadlines for the exchange of pleadings and oral argument. When a couple works with an attorney outside of court, however, they can discuss issues at their own pace, without the time constraints of litigation.
Another advantage to approaching divorce collaboratively might be emotional health. Court proceedings can become heated, with spouses functioning as adversaries. For some issues, a divorce court may also require testimony from minor children, to learn their viewpoint. By working outside of court, parents may be able to shield their children from the additional stress of divorce litigation.
Finally, working proactively with a divorce attorney may also prepare parents for their post-divorce interactions. Many courts favor a shared custody arrangement between parents. That, in turn, means forced interactions between parents as they juggle visitation schedules and communicate about parenting issues. By starting the communication process early, parents may be better suited to their post-divorce parenting arrangement.
For more information, check out our firm’s website page on divorce and marriage dissolution.