Which Divorce Path Should I Take?
There are many different processes available for people going through divorce and the process you choose will likely make a major difference in helping you achieve your goals. It is critical that you understand your process choices before you take your first step.
Because there are so many new options to help you through your divorce, it is easy to become confused and overwhelmed when thinking about how to take the first step. In order to keep it simple, let’s start by focusing on how decisions are made.
The main thing to consider at the outset is, how much professional help will you need and what type of professional help will work best for you?
Two ends of the spectrum.
In understanding your process choices, it is sometimes easiest to look at the two extremes and then look at the various choices in the middle of the spectrum.
Trial: On one extreme end of the spectrum is a process in which a judge is asked to make all of your decisions after a full trial on all of the issues. This is extremely rare and happens in less than 3% of all cases. Very few people can afford to have a judge make all of their divorce decisions, (financially or emotionally). Therefore, it is unlikely that you and your spouse will be on this end of the continuum.
Doing Everything on your own: On the other end of the spectrum would be for you and your spouse to make all of your decisions without any help from outside people. This is also quite rare. Divorce can be complicated and there is much at stake. While most couples can work out many of the issues on their own, the number of people who can finalize a divorce without any professional help is still fairly rare.
The Middle Choices
Most people get through their divorce without having a judge decide everything but with some help from outside professionals, at least on some of the issues. While there are many ways in which this can be achieved, there are three main alternatives that are used by most couples in our community.