6 Divorce Alternatives: What’s Best For You?
Divorce alternatives are worth seeking out, even if your ultimate goal is to end the marriage. However, the divorce process can be tense, painful and prolonged.
Statistics show that most divorces happen by the 20-year mark in a marriage. That is quite a bit of time in one relationship. So, it can take a physical and psychological toll when it does not work out. Therefore, it’s well worth it to give your marriage every shot. If not at survival, at a peaceful and smooth transition into the next chapter.
This article examines six alternatives to divorce that can do just that!
A legal separation is when the couple chooses to live apart instead of immediately divorcing. It’s one of the best alternatives to divorce for older couples because it allows them to lead separate lives without the financial mess of divorce.
Alternatively, separation can be more than an open marriage instead of a divorce. Definitive resolution may still be the goal, whether eventual divorce or reconciliation.
Many couples try legal separation because it can be less expensive than divorce, while others choose a legal separation for religious reasons.
An annulment is another option for an unhappy marriage Couples void their marriage as if it never happened. An annulment doesn’t require a waiting period, and the process is often more straightforward.
The downside to an annulment is that it can be restrictive regarding eligibility. In addition, some states may not recognize annulments either.
Conscious uncoupling is one of the creative alternatives to divorce. The idea behind conscious uncoupling is that the parties see the separation and eventual dissolution as a positive.
They’re supportive of one another and continue to act in the children’s best interests as well.
That said, both parties have to be on the same wavelength. But, of course, that’s easier said than done when a relationship has gotten to dissolution.
Collaborative divorce uses a team of third-party advisors (e.g., attorneys, financial advisors, or even mental health professionals). The advisors help the couple make informed decisions to take a more amicable approach to divorce.
Still, collaborative divorce can take longer than the traditional process. It can also be a more costly route to take.
In divorce mediation, a mediator guides the parties in resolving their conflict. It enables both sides to give and take. The goal is to come to an agreement that works for everyone.
The advantage is that it can be cheaper and quicker than going to court. The downside is it requires both parties’ willingness to negotiate in good faith, which isn’t always possible.
Similar to mediation by bringing in a third party, arbitration is more binding. In it, the couple turns to a private judge to help with the actual decision-making. Mediators, on the other hand, are just advisors.
Arbitration can be less expensive than going to court. It can be quicker as well. The disadvantage is that it’s more final than mediation. Once the arbitrator makes a decision, it’s tough to change it.
In a contested divorce, a judge resolves disagreements in open court. For example, both sides can present evidence and argue they deserve a more significant share of the couple’s assets, alimony and child custody or other issues they disagree on. The judge decides what is impartial and issues a formal decision to resolve the case.
These Divorce Alternatives May Not Be Enough to Save the Marriage
However, these divorce alternatives can help you maintain your dignity and quality of life when the dust settles. That said, they’re not for everyone.
And if you do need help taking that next step, Dalena & Bosch has the experience you need. So reach out to us today to see how we can help you through this next chapter.