You are seeking divorce for good reasons, such as infidelity, financial stress, abuse or personality conflict. After months or years of a failing marriage and the emotional upheaval of deciding it’s over (or finding out your spouse wants to end things), you might be tired of fighting. While you understand your marriage cannot continue, the stereotype of divorce being a knock-down, drag-out fight over every piece of property, child custody and alimony can seem daunting.
Fortunately, such divorces are rare. As someone going through divorce in Texas, you have several options for dissolving your marriage that help you avoid a confrontational attitude. They also help you feel less stressed and save money and time. These options include:
- Mediation. This is a form of alternative dispute resolution available for many types of legal conflicts, including divorce. You and your spouse meet with a mediator, who generally is a family law attorney or is otherwise highly experienced in Texas family law. The mediator listens to both sides and guides them toward compromises on asset division, child custody, child support and other necessary matters. Many people find mediation gives them more of a say in their divorce in a collaborative, lower-stress environment.
- Collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is another form of ADR. Each side (along with their attorneys) meets to negotiate a settlement, potentially hiring various experts to consult when necessary. If successful, the parties reach a settlement that they submit to the court and finalize their divorce without ever having to go to court.
- Litigation. This is the traditional form of divorce. However, actually going to court to hold a trial is still unusual. Most couples are able to negotiate a reasonable settlement. Still, it may be a good idea to keep the possibility of trial in your pocket in case your spouse is unreasonable.
An experienced divorce lawyer can go over your options for resolving your divorce in a way that respects your financial and parental rights, and suits your personality and current relationship with your ex.