Today, many divorces in the United States are settled out of court. This can be done through mediation or through collaborative divorce, both of which are forms of alternative dispute resolution. Many couples who choose this type of divorce report higher levels of satisfaction with their settlements than those who choose to end their marriages through traditional litigation.
However, alternative dispute resolution is not always the best choice. Some divorcing couples’ circumstances make it impossible for them to amicably work through their issues outside of court. For these couples, litigation is the only option. Before you begin the divorce process, talk to your attorney about whether alternative dispute resolution would be appropriate for your case. He or she will be able to examine your unique circumstances and advise whether litigation, collaborative divorce, or mediation would be best for you and your spouse.
When One Partner is Hiding Assets
During a divorce, marital property must be divided between the spouses. This is only possible if both partners are open about the assets they possess. If the court has to go through the discovery process to find all of a divorcing individual’s assets, alternative dispute resolution is not a viable option for him or her.
If your spouse is hiding assets from you or from the court, talk to your attorney about the discovery process. There are various methods through which the court can find hidden assets.
If There Is a History of Domestic Violence
When domestic violence has occurred, one partner might feel intimidated by the other or have an order of protection against him or her. This makes it impossible for the couple to work out their divorce fairly with a mediator or their attorneys. The goal of alternative dispute resolution is to allow a divorcing couple to reach an agreement about their divorce settlement together. Fear, intimidation, and scars of past violence are significant obstacles to the agreement that makes alternative dispute resolution work.
When One Spouse Refuses to Cooperate
Sometimes, one or both individuals refuse to comply with the court’s orders. They might do this by routinely skipping scheduled meetings and hearings, refusing to sign the divorce paperwork, and failing to return divorce-related phone calls and messages. If an individual cannot cooperate with the court, he or she will likely be uncooperative during mediation or collaborative divorce meetings. Do not attempt to settle your divorce through alternative dispute resolution if your spouse has a history of refusing to work with the court.
Divorce Attorneys in DuPage County
If you have a fairly amicable relationship with your spouse at the time of your divorce, alternative dispute resolution might be the best way for you to divorce. If you do not have a positive relationship or you suspect that he or she is hiding assets from you, litigation is likely to be a better fit. Call Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at (877) 889-4515 to discuss your case with one of our team’s compassionate DuPage County divorce attorneys and learn more about your options.