Frequently Asked Questions

This is a very personal issue. There is no hard and fast rule because no two families are the same. Approach this delicately and with caution. 

Do not hesitate to consult a therapist or counselor to help you deal with this issue.

In any case, always try to be calm in discussing this with your spouse. Do not engage in heated arguments, especially in front of your children.

Express your reasons to your spouse honestly and sincerely. This way you might be able to go through the divorce process amicably with your spouse.

If the decision is mutual, it is best to set an appointment with a divorce lawyer so that you and your spouse could know your options.

There are certain aspects of your marital life which should be laid down during the earliest stages of the divorce process. You would have thrash out issues about your property relations, the custody and support of children and alimony.

If you are able to agree with most of the items and have minimal issue, you have an option to contact a mediator who can help you straighten out the remaining details of the agreement.

However, understanding your marital estate is no small feat. Engaging the services of experts is the best way to go especially for complicated situations.

You and your spouse’s documented income levels are the bases of most financial calculations involved in divorce. These include calculations on alimony and child support.

Discussing, reviewing and determining you and your spouse’s income at the beginning of the process will make the divorce a lot smoother. Financial issues could be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce proceeding.

Once you and your spouse have cleared these out and agreed to the terms about support and payment then you can proceed with dividing your marital property with clarity.

The more contentious and adversarial the divorce, the more expensive it will be. 

A litigious divorce process means that you and spouse have not agreed about the corollary issues which are related to the dissolution of a marriage. The include but are not limited to child custody, support, alimony and division of property.

When this happens, it is necessary to hire a lawyer to help you sort out these intertwined issues. You would need to pay a retainer which is commensurate with the complexity of the case.

Mediation, Collaborative Divorce, or arbitration are methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) which can lower the cost of a divorce.

ADR methods aim to provide ways for the spouses to work together to come up with a fair resolution of their case. Afterall, the goal is to find an arrangement that works best for all parties involved. 

Note ADR will only work if the spouses are willing to listen and compromise. If they are, then will significantly lower the costs of the divorce.

The parties hire a neutral third party (mediator) who will facilitate in discussing and resolving issues in your divorce. The mediator will not decide for you but will help you and your spouse come up with an arrangement that works best for all parties involve

Aside from the fact that divorce mediation is significantly less costly than a full-blown court trial, mediation allows you and your spouse to come up with a resolution which was discussed and deliberated based on your ideas, concerns, and even feelings about the matters involved in divorce.

Mediation will allow you to settle not based on legalities but more on what mutually works for you and your spouse.

Since mediation is a confidential process, there will be no public record which can be scrutinized by others about your settlement.

Most spouses who come out successfully from divorce mediation have improved communication lines between each other. This is essential because divorce does not entirely sever your ties with each other especially if you have joint custody over your children.

Collaborative divorce is an alternative dispute resolution method which allows the spouses to negotiate about the terms of their divorce without fighting it out in Court.

Collaborative divorce uses a combination of negotiation and mediation in settling the terms of the divorce pertaining to corollary issues such as property division, support and custody.

Collaborative divorce entails the formation of a team of experts that will help the spouses achieve the goal of reaching a mutual settlement.

The spouses must first have a conversation that will make them commit to negotiate and work together in a collaborative process. Without this commitment the collaborative divorce process will not work.

The next step is to hire lawyers with collaborative divorce experience. Collaborative divorce lawyers are those who would advocate your interests on the negotiating table rather than insist on settling unresolved matters in Court.

It is important at this stage to talk to your lawyer about your personal goals about the divorce. This will let the lawyer know the extent of what he would advocate for you once the negotiation starts.

Hiring joint specialists such as a therapist, financial advisor or divorce coach as the case may be, is also ideal in collaborative divorce. These experts have one goal in mind which is to help you, your spouse, and your lawyers reach a swift settlement favorable to both parties.

For collaborative divorce to work, it is essential for both spouses to be honest with their respective finances. Financial issues are usually the most contentious aspect of a divorce process. Hiding financial assets would not only prolong the process but also could cause the collaborative divorce method to fail because of lack of honesty from one or both spouse/s.

It is considered as a contested divorce if your spouse disagrees with the divorce itself or any matter corollary to the divorce such as support, child custody, or support.

You are advised to hire an attorney to assist you in a contested divorce.