The Process for Divorce Mediation
There are many ways of avoiding court when divorcing. In fact, most family law cases are resolved by the attorneys negotiating on behalf of their clients. One method, called divorce mediation, can be done with or without an attorney present. Mediation is often available as part of the litigation process and often times is mandatory to complete before a hearing on your case can occur. Additionally, private mediators can be hired to assist in reaching an agreement when more complicated issues are present.
Settlement Conference between Spouses
Settlement conferences are another method frequently used when trying not to go through litigation. These conferences can take many forms and may be facilitated by a judge or just attorneys. If a dispute can be resolved amicably through a settlement, much time, stress, and money can be saved by both parties. In general, bypassing a contested hearing (trial) is a preferable choice in coming up with the terms that will end marriages. Once official proceedings begin, it is always possible to reach a settlement during the course of the litigation, but you lose the ability to have a final say in what happens if you have a contested hearing where the judge will make the final decision. While you can influence the case with a skilled attorney, a judge will ultimately have the final say and orders in some of the most intimate areas of your life.
It is important to note that there is no way to bypass ‘divorce court’, that is to say, ‘the system’ because it is what ultimately grants the divorce. But it is not necessary to have a contesting hearing where a judge decides the issues.