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Examining the difference between litigated and mediated divorce

Posted On behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jun 05, 2014 in Divorce Mediation

Popular depictions of divorce are usually quite dramatic. As a result, people's frame of reference for divorce is a drawn-out and contentious process. Of course, this may cause individuals to hesitate, even though they know that divorce is the best option. After all, many people probably don't want to put themselves or their children through such a volatile situation.

The important thing to keep in mind, for those considering the possibility of divorce, is that marriages don't have to end in such a stressful fashion. Connecticut family law allows for couples to take a cooperative approach to divorce, as opposed to the "traditional" litigated route.

According to a report from CNBC, litigated divorce often fits common depictions of divorce. By choosing this option, couples aim to have the court intervene in their split. Each spouse has an attorney to argue their position, and a settlement will ultimately be reached at the discretion of a family law judge.

On the other hand, divorce mediation is for couples who want to settle all pertinent issues in an amicable setting. In many cases, divorcing spouses have respect for each other, but simply understand that their marriage no longer works. As a result, couples can choose to come to the negotiating table and work out a settlement that's mutually agreeable in a non-confrontational setting.

Logistically speaking, divorce mediation involves a third party. As such, couples may hire one attorney to help work out matters of property division, alimony, child support or child custody. This way, couples reach an agreement together with the help of a knowledgeable family law professional.

One thing to note is that mediation, in many ways, is similar to a "collaborative divorce." The primary difference is that each spouse hires a legal representative, yet they still aim to reach a settlement without serious animosity.

Ultimately, couples have to choose a legal option that best suits their needs. For those who have children and understand that they will have to have a cooperative relationship in the future to successfully co-parent, mediation may be worth consideration.

Source: CNBC, "Collaborative divorce can ease emotional, economic stress," Deborah Nason, May 2, 2014