Choosing the Right Divorce Process in Westchester
Most divorcing couples are angry. Many people feel like they have been betrayed or that the time and energy they invested in the marriage have been taken from them. Sometimes, they begin the divorce process without pausing to think about the best course of action, often jumping into litigation that they are not truly ready for and do not actually want.
If you are considering divorce, it is critical to take some time with a Westchester divorce lawyer to consider the divorce process that is right for you. You should know that there are different ways to get divorced and that you have the power to choose how your divorce will be conducted.
Factors in Determining the Type of Divorce
When considering which process is right for you, these factors are critical:
- The cost of divorce: litigation is generally the most expensive — financially and emotionally — way to divorce. Resolving matters amicably can be the best way to save money.
- What do you want your divorce to feel like? If you have children together, you and your spouse will need to work together in the future. If you take hostile action, it is likely to be returned with increasingly hostile action. The way you divorce sets the tone for the co-parenting relationship.
- The importance of privacy: in litigation, court documents become part of the public record. Mediation allows couples to keep things private.
- What kind of support would you benefit from? Who do you want to surround yourself with during a difficult time? What traits do you want in a divorce attorney?
- Your future: the truth is that life goes on after divorce. Who do you want to be when everything is settled? What do you envision for your future?
Types of Divorce Process
Our founding attorney, Katherine Eisold Miller, has dedicated her career to helping couples understand the importance of choosing a way to get divorced once the decision to divorce or separate is made. As an experienced mediator and one of the first and best-known Collaborative lawyers in the New York metropolitan area, Miller takes a different approach to divorce. She guides couples through divorce mediation or Collaborative Law methods instead of engaging in scorched-earth litigation.
If you are considering a divorce, know that you have options when it comes to the divorce process:
- Litigation: Litigation is what most people think of when they consider divorce. In litigation, each side is usually represented by an attorney. The approach is adversarial. Couples negotiate a series of issues through their attorneys. Issues that cannot be negotiated are resolved at trial.
- Mediation: Many people think that all legal processes take place in court, but most of the time, cases are actually settled out of court. Mediation is a good option for resolving issues quickly and with a minimum of expense. A third, unbiased party helps both sides to come to an agreement and resolve disagreements prior to trial. Couples engaging in mediation each have their own attorney, but the focus is on creating a viable agreement instead of going to trial.
- Collaboration: In Collaborative Divorces, each party commits to resolving issues without going to court. In fact, the couple signs an agreement, agreeing to hire new ones in the event litigation is required. The couple then sits down with their collaborative divorce attorneys and any financial experts, child psychologists or other experts, as necessary or desired. Together, they work out the details of their divorce agreement — focusing on what is right for them.
Determining the Best Approach for You
Many people think that all legal processes take place in court, but most of the time, cases are settled out of court through negotiations between attorneys, mediation or through the use of Collaborative Law. Contact our Westchester County law office in New Rochelle, New York, by calling for a confidential consultation about your options. We also have a Manhattan office to serve clients in New York City.