Recently, the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos announced he and his wife are divorcing. While he may have significantly more money than the average person filing for divorce, his options for how he approaches his divorce are the same as everybody else’s. He and his wife, guided by their lawyers, may choose mediation, negotiation, collaboration, or litigation to resolve their issues.
Mediation is a process that involves the parties, their lawyers, and a neutral third party. The neutral third party listens to the wants and needs of both sides, and works to arrive at a resolution the parties are happy with. One benefit of mediation is the parties can be creative in how they approach their situation and address their needs. For example, there is no provision in the law that permits a judge to order a spouse’s new girlfriend to refrain from worshiping at the same church as the current spouse. However, this may be a mediated condition of the divorce.
While negotiation may no longer be the most common approach to divorce, it is the oldest approach. In this type of divorce, the attorneys negotiate a divorce for the parties. The attorneys, not the spouses, discuss the division of property, assets, and debts, and hammer out any issues regarding child custody, parenting time, and alimony. Of course, the spouses have the final approval rights. However, the attorneys do the heavy lifting.
One of the newer approaches to divorce is collaborative law. In a collaborative law divorce, the attorneys, along with the spouses, agree to meet as a foursome to resolve the issues present in the divorce. The commitment to collaboration is so strong, the attorneys agree at the outset they will not represent their clients if the case cannot be resolved collaboratively. Not every family law attorney has the training necessary to engage in collaborative divorce proceedings. It is a specialized approach, and both parties must find an attorney who is able to handle a collaborative divorce. One benefit of a collaborative divorce is that scheduling is much easier without having to wait in line for space on the judge’s calendar. Another advantage is that by taking a team approach, the parties lay a solid foundation for collaboration on issues such as parenting long after the divorce is final.
A litigated divorce is costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable. However, some parties just cannot seem to resolve their issues, even with the help of a skilled mediator, dedicated attorney negotiations, or a collaborative approach. If the parties cannot agree on the issues, the court will make the decisions for them. Of course, this is the riskiest approach, because once the parties turn the issues over to the court, they no longer have control on how the case will be resolved.
Considering Divorce Options?
If you are considering divorce options, contact the Law Office of Eric C. Cheshire, P. A. Eric Cheshire has over 25 years of experience handling family law cases. Not every family law attorney has the training necessary to engage in collaborative divorce proceedings. Eric Cheshire is qualified to handle collaborative divorces, if that is an option you are interested in. He can also negotiate on your behalf, participate in mediation, or, if need be, litigate the issues before the court. Contact the office today to discuss your situation at (561) 677-8090. Together, you and Eric can determine the path that is best for you and your family.