As you prepare to end your marriage, you may wonder what is the best way to go about doing it. The approach you take can influence the consequences divorce will have on you and your children. Therefore, it is important to know your options.
Three common ways to divorce in Wisconsin are through mediation, collaboration and litigation. Understanding what each entail can help you decide which one is best for your situation. If you are unsure, a lawyer can give you advice.
If you and your spouse are on civil terms, try mediation. You two will sit down with a neutral party who facilitates communication so you and your spouse can decide on your own the terms of your divorce. You must be willing to cooperate and be honest for it to work. It can be hard, but it has the best impact on the children and on your wallet. You will only need an attorney to review your agreement before submitting it.
Perhaps you and your spouse are not able to work together but would still like to stay out of the courtroom. Collaboration is the perfect middle ground. It involves each of you and your lawyers (or even just your lawyers in hostile circumstances) meeting to discuss the divorce terms. Your lawyer advocates on your behalf, helps you negotiate and offers legal guidance, including informing you if litigation is necessary to protect your rights.
Litigation, or fighting in court, is the method you may be most familiar with. Despite horror stories you may have heard, litigation does not have to be ugly or a last resort. With the right legal team, you can have a strong but uncontentious defense. You can also choose to go to court right away if you know undoubtedly that mediation and collaboration are not realistic options for you. Litigation can also be beneficial for complex, high-asset cases.