Reaching a compromise regarding the division of marital property is usually your most cost-efficient option. It saves time, money and aggravation for both parties. Unfortunately, emotions can run high during divorce proceedings, often causing irrational behavior and stalled progress. What happens when things cannot be settled peaceably? There are other options to solve disputes before asking the court to intervene?
Mediation is a non-adversarial process conducted by an objective third party designed to solve disputes. The spouses identify key issues and find reasonable solutions with help from the mediator. Property and liability disputes are typically addressed during mediation. Questions such as who gets the house and how bills get paid are discussed and usually resolved. If this option is not successful the couple maintains the right to litigate their divorce in court.
Relatively new, collaborative divorce allows amicable couples to negotiate the terms of their divorce without going to litigation. Spouses are not seeking a pound of flesh but a peaceful dissolution of their marriage and equitable distribution of property. To start the process each spouse hires a collaborative attorney. Both parties sign an agreement to settle matters in a non-adversarial way. The two spouses and their lawyer conduct a four way meeting where everyone participates equally. Mental health professionals are available to help the couple regain perspective if emotions spiral out of control.
Arbitration uses a third party to resolve disputes and issues when an impasse has been reached. Both spouses identify open issues for the arbitrator. The Arbitrator must issue his final decision within an agreed upon time frame. Usually the arbitrator’s award is binding and can only be appealed under certain circumstances. The arbitration hearing is scheduled and heard in a private setting at a time convenient for all parties. The divorcing couple chooses the Arbitrator that best fits their needs and circumstances.
Divorce can be a contentious process where each spouse feels the need to protect his or her own best interest. Many times this mindset creates an adversarial atmosphere and poses challenges in solving property disputes. Mediation, collaborative divorce and arbitration are three ways to solve property disputes.