Which is the right process for me?

Kitchen Table

This process involves you and your spouse sitting down at the “kitchen table” and working out for yourselves what the two of you want to do. You might consult books, the Internet or even relevant experts to get the knowledge you need. The two of you decide everything.

My spouse and I…
  • Agree on what we want to do.
  • Have a fair understanding of the law.
  • Have an uncomplicated financial situation.
  • Have agreed on all children’s issues.
  • Have a high degree of mutual respect.

Mediation

Hiring a professional Mediator provides you with someone who can help you to get the information you need, communicate in a focused and calm manner, ensure that mutually acceptable decisions are made and reasonable solutions are found to meet both individual’s needs.

My spouse and I…
  • Have some differences of opinion on what is the “right thing” to do.
  • Have some difficulty talking constructively to each other.
  • Have some questions regarding children’s issues.
  • Own and owe things but likely nothing out of the ordinary.
  • Have a reasonable degree of mutual respect.

Collaborative Law

Using this process, both you and your spouse will hire your own collaborative lawyer. All four of you will agree that you will not go to court but rather will do everything you can to work out a solution that is reasonable and equitable for both individuals. You do this by meeting and negotiating, all four of you together. Your lawyer is there as your advocate but also looks for a solution where both parties win.

My spouse and I…
  • Have some significant differences of opinion on what is the “right thing” to do.
  • Do not communicate well.
  • Have confusion about the law.
  • Have children and probably can’t agree on what is best for them.
  • Have reasonably complex financial issues.
  • Want to preserve self respect and sometimes think about preserving mutual respect

Traditional Law

The traditional law process also requires both of you to hire your own lawyer. You have your advocate, and your spouse has theirs. There tends to be more conflict in this process than collaborative law as the lawyers focus primarily on what is best for their client.

My spouse and I…
  • Agree on very little.
  • Do not communicate and do not want to.
  • Have little knowledge of the law.
  • Do not agree on what is best for the children.
  • Do not agree on finances.
  • Have no particular interest in maintaining mutual respect.

Adversarial Law

Adversarial law involves your lawyer, your spouse’s lawyer and the courts. This is a long, expensive and negative process that results in a judge making decisions for you and your spouse.

My spouse and I…
  • Completely disagree about almost everything.
  • Neither of us is willing to compromise.
  • “I’m, prepared to lose as long as he/she loses more than me.”