Divorce has a reputation for causing chaos for those who are filing. Their personal relationships, living circumstances and finances will likely change dramatically during the divorce process. Contested divorce proceedings leave couples at the mercy of a judge. A family law judge decides what happens regarding the division of property and parenting time when couples can’t agree with one another on their own.
Some divorcing couples invest quite a bit of effort into mediation or collaborative divorce negotiations with the goal of filing an uncontested divorce instead of litigating, partially as a means of minimizing the risk of a chaotic process. What are some of the benefits of uncontested divorce proceedings?
1. Spouses have control over the outcome
Litigated divorce strips someone of control. The judge has total authority over personal property, parental responsibilities and financial obligations for the divorcing spouses.
Even if someone presents a very compelling case requesting specific terms or property, a judge will do what they think is best, and the people in the family will simply have to abide by their decisions. Those who collaborate and settle their own disputes have control over the outcome of the divorce proceedings.
2. Spouses can keep their costs lower
One of the reasons that divorce is so financially devastating is that people invest thousands of dollars in the litigation process. Not only do they have to divide their property, but they also walk away with a five-figure bill for the process. Those who resolve their matters outside of court can minimize how much they end up paying for their marital dissolution.
3. They keep their issues private
Perhaps a couple shares children and would prefer to shield them from the adults’ disagreements. Maybe certain kinds of behavioral issues, like infidelity or excessive shopping, contributed to the divorce or should play a role in the terms that the couples set. Couples that negotiate their own arrangements can address misconduct without making it part of the public record and can keep embarrassing details private.
Mediation can help when couples truly struggle with negotiations, but many spouses can also reach an amicable resolution through direct negotiation, possibly managed by the attorneys of each spouse. Exploring the benefits of collaborative divorce proceedings of all kinds can help people choose the best approach to their unique family law matter.