What Type of Divorce Should I get?

If you are getting divorced, there are many factors you will have to consider. Divorce is a very involved process, so it is important you are informed of all your options before making any major decisions. It is also equally important that you hire an experienced attorney if you feel you are ready to begin the divorce process. Here are some common questions many people seeking a divorce may ask:

What are the different types of divorce?

Essentially, divorce can be broken down into three different categories: litigation, mediation, and arbitration. Generally, people seek to avoid litigation, as this can be both a complicated and expensive process. Essentially, litigation means that until a judge or jury decides the case, the outcome will remain uncertain. If you wish to litigate your divorce, this means you must submit your issues to family court. Usually, people wish to litigate their divorce if they cannot come to an agreement on the terms of their divorce through other means first.

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

While both of these processes employ a neutral third party to help negotiate the terms of your divorce, they are executed in a slightly different manner. Generally, couples will employ arbitration as a binding process, which means the arbitration process will replace the trial process. Arbitration is usually conducted via a panel of arbitrators who will make decisions based on the evidence provided, and then give written opinions regarding the conclusions they reach. Most commonly, each spouse will select an arbitrator, and from there, both arbitrators will select a third neutral arbitrator. At this point, the dispute is brought in front of all three arbitrators, and decisions are made through a majority vote. However, if you wish to settle the terms of your divorce through mediation, the process is similar, though there are some key differences. For example, a couple usually only hires one mediator, whose job is to neutrally facilitate discussion and help the couple come to an agreement on their own.

What are the benefits of mediation?

Oftentimes, when a couple hires a mediator, they find they have more of a voice than if they were to go through the litigation process first. By having a neutral third party present to better put things into perspective, couples are usually able to reach more realistic decisions regarding the terms of their divorce. If you wish to get a divorce, you should consider hiring a mediator. Whether you believe your spouse will cooperate throughout the divorce process or not, mediation is often a cheaper, more efficient way to sort divorce matters out.

Contact our Massachusetts firm

If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.