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Four Alternatives to Traditional Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Four Alternatives to Traditional DivorceTo most people, divorce means using negotiations or litigation to settle disputes about the division of marital property and allocation of parental responsibilities. This process describes one form of divorce called a contested divorce. Though contested divorce is the most common form of divorce, it is also the most time-consuming and costly process. Most divorcees use contested divorce because they cannot agree on their divorce terms. However, some divorcees are unaware that there are simpler and more amicable divorce options available to them:

  1. Uncontested Divorce: In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on the decision to divorce and the terms of their agreement, without the need for litigation or extensive negotiations. The dissolution of the marriage and approval of the divorce agreement can occur in one court hearing. This is a rare form of divorce because two people who have decided to end their marriage often disagree with each other in some aspect of the divorce.
  2. Joint Simplified Divorce: A joint simplified divorce is similar to an uncontested divorce but more restrictive in what it can cover. A simplified divorce agreement in Illinois cannot include child issues, spousal maintenance, or a total marital property value of more than $50,000. There are also limits on the duration of the marriage and each spouse's annual income.
  3. Mediation: Spouses who are still amicable in talking to each other can use mediation as an alternative to traditional negotiations. The spouses will negotiate directly with each other, while a third-party mediator guides the process. The mediator encourages cooperation between the spouses and answers questions about divorce law. A successful mediation can be quicker and less expensive than a contested divorce.
  4. Collaborative Divorce:  Collaborative law differs from mediation because each party brings his or her own lawyer to the meetings. Unlike traditional divorce negotiations, the spouses and lawyers agree to cordial negotiations. If the collaborative negotiations break down, the lawyers must remove themselves from the case.

Choosing Your Type of Divorce

All four of the listed forms of divorce can be cheaper than a contested divorce but may not be right for your divorce. With an uncontested divorce, you risk overlooking your parental and property rights for the sake of a speedy resolution. Mediation or collaborative law can be a waste of your money if the process fails and you are forced to use litigation. A Barrington, Illinois, divorce attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can help you choose the most effective form of divorce for your case. To schedule a consultation, call 847-381-8700.


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