Divorce is complicated- legally, emotionally and financially. All divorces must be finalized in a court of law. In order to get a divorce in New York, all issues of child custody, support and distribution of assets and debts must be resolved. There are several ways to resolve these issues, and the method you choose to get there will have a major impact on how you and your family move forward.
Traditionally, each party hires an attorney to represent them in a divorce. If they cannot reach a settlement, the case proceeds to Court, and possibly to trial, leaving the fate of the parties in the hands of a Judge. Litigation is costly and often results in a “war of the roses”.
Mediation is an alternate route towards a divorce whereby the parties’ go together to one specially trained impartial mediator, usually an attorney or a social worker, and together they attempt to come up with a satisfactory resolution to their divorce. This process works best when both parties are able to communicate with each other and they both have the knowledge of the economics and finances of the marriage. After the mediator prepares an agreement, the parties each hire “reviewing” attorneys, who advise them of their legal rights and responsibilities.
Collaborative law is a divorce resolution process whereby the parties each hire their own attorneys who work together to achieve a settlement without court intervention. There is full financial disclosure and experts are retained, if necessary. In the event that the collaborative process is unsuccessful, the parties must each retain a new attorney to represent them in a matrimonial litigation.