It is important to know all your divorce options before beginning the divorce process. Not every divorce has to go to court for a judge to decide the issues. Austin attorney Carolyn Collins has been assisting her clients through their divorce cases with her expert knowledge and calming influence for almost four decades.
There are 4 methods for resolving a divorce: The Uncontested or Kitchen Table Model, Mediation, Collaborative Divorce and Litigation.
Collaborative Divorce is an approach that involves you and your spouse each hiring your own specially trained collaborative attorney. There are neutral divorce professionals that form the team to help you and your spouse decide the issues in your case. These professionals include a divorce financial specialist to work on the financial questions, a mental health professional that helps with communication issues and parenting plans, and in some cases, a child specialist may be brought into the process to be the voice of the child. The collaborative team of attorneys and neutral professionals work together with you and your spouse through a series of meetings to reach an agreement that meets both of your interests and goals.
In a Divorce Mediation, you and your spouse are not required to negotiate face to face or ever be in the same room with each other. A neutral mediator works with you, your spouse, and your attorneys toward a settlement. Mediations can take place in person, with each party and their counsel in different rooms or over Zoom, using the same process with virtual rooms. Resolving a case with a mediator is more economical and less stressful than having the case decided by a Judge. Unlike going to court, Mediation is a private and confidential process.
Uncontested – The Kitchen Table Divorce
The Kitchen Table Divorce is often the simplest option. It is called a kitchen table divorce because the issues are resolved by you and your spouse at the kitchen table or any other agreed upon location. If you can agree on all the key aspects of the divorce, such as child custody, property division, and spousal support, an uncontested divorce allows you to skip lengthy court battles. Once you have worked out an agreement, an attorney should prepare the paperwork necessary to complete the divorce so that it can be approved by a judge with no issues. Failure to have an attorney prepare the paperwork for you can result in costly modifications after the divorce has been finalized.
When you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on important matters, then going to court becomes necessary. A judge will then make decisions on matters such as child custody, visitation rights, division of assets and alimony. Contested divorces typically involve more time, expense, and emotional strain than the other divorce options. Going to court should be considered the last resort rather than the first option.
Remember, it is essential to consult with a qualified family law attorney who can guide you through the divorce process and help you choose the option that aligns with your family’s situation. Your attorney will provide personalized advice based on your circumstances, ensuring you make the best decision for your future.