In the U.S., only about 5% of divorces go to trial. This is great news if you are hoping for an amicable divorce. Divorces can be sticky and emotional even when both parties want to avoid fighting. Here are a few tips, based on our experience as divorce lawyers, to make sure your divorce stays civil (and out of court).
Find someone who knows the softer points of negotiating, stays calm, and supports your vision to settle out of court amicably. Before you pick a divorce lawyer, ask how often they settle divorce cases. Ask what his or her strategy would be in your case. Your attorney will play a big role in setting the tone of your divorce, so choose wisely.
One of our top tips for an amicable divorce is to be honest and transparent. It will not be easy to keep your divorce friendly if one spouse finds out the other was trying to defraud them out of a fair settlement. Sharing all relevant information helps with transparent negotiations, which helps achieve a resolution amicably.
If you know in advance that a certain aspect of the divorce will no doubt need to be debated, remember that you can reach an agreement through mediation or arbitration. Court is not your only option. Mediation is a process in which an objective third party (“the mediator”) will help you and your spouse reach a fair agreement. Arbitration is similar except that the arbitration mediator will make a binding decision about your situation. It will be out of court and, therefore, faster and cheaper, but you and your spouse may not necessarily both agree on every point. The goal of mediation, on the other hand, is to help the two of you come to a fair and equitable resolution.
In Ohio, you can actually end your marriage without filing for divorce. This process is called “dissolution.” If you and your spouse can agree on every part of the divorce – from asset and debt division to child support and custody to alimony – then you can file for a dissolution. Other than the obvious advantage of agreeing on everything, dissolutions do not require anyone to be “at fault.” When both parties can simply agree that they want to end the marriage, that can help keep things friendly. Having to prove adultery or alcoholism can increase time, stress, and cost. Dissolutions are usually much faster and cheaper than divorces.
Some spouses want to have an amicable divorce, which can help save resources and assist with healthy co-parenting moving forward. There are plenty of options to keep a divorce civil instead of battling out issues in court, and our legal team at The VanNoy Firm definitely assists with many amicable divorces. Contact us to get started and to learn more about your divorce options.
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