Divorce is stressful; there is almost no way around that. But in some extreme cases, it gets so stressful that incidents of long-term trauma, irreparable relationships, family turmoil or even hospitalization, long-term depression, substance abuse, etc. are not uncommon. When such as serious incident arises, you would hope that there are resources available to make the process easier.
Unfortunately, most couples think the only step after the first decision for divorce is to call an attorney and get a court date. That is the farthest thing from the truth. Even when you have made up your mind to separate, there are ways to make the process smoother a, less destructive and even meaningful so it feels like the right thing to do and not an unpleasant shock as many divorces end up. Even a good divorce attorney usually tries to get other kinds of help before resorting to the often times arbitrary decisions of a court/p>
Here are some strategies that have worked for thousands of willing couples.
Counseling: There are always the first steps. Divorce mediators, family therapists and couples counselors spend their entire life treating marital issues. This is not just some random “talking” – it’s science. Psychology has been studied for centuries – and trained counselors spend years educating themselves about these findings. Experienced professionals can be a saving grace for some couples. The key is to take the time to find the one that is right for you. Even individual therapy can work but couples counseling is recommended for marital issues more often. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to years. Explore this first. It’s your last chance to save a relationship, knowing that rebuilding another could take years, if it happens at all.
Mediation: The next logical step is an alternative law process, mediation. We can all agree that counseling is still more commonly known, understood and tried among couples. A mediator may try to fix your relationship but also tries to get you both on the same page to prepare you for the legal consequences and eventualities. He or she also helps arrive at a separation with terms more amicably and minimize stress. Divorce mediators have the tools to arrive at best ideas win negotiations which leaves both participants with fair deal so that they can now move on to the next phase of their lives. Although mediation works much of the time, an additional huge advantage for mediation over litigation is that you can have two bites at the apple and still to court if mediation does not work.
Arbitration: Arbitration is similar to mediation but is usually associated with court-related processes. Judges might assign arbitrators or couples might choose one. Arbitrations can be binding or non-binding. In the former, the arbitrator’s decision is binding and is more applicable in situations where couples are not in talking terms at all or there is a threat to either participant from proximity to the other. Arbitration can make court settlements happen faster. Often, mediators can later take on the role of arbitrators. Since they’ve already worked with the couple during the mediation process, they are often able to arrive at arbitration settlements faster.
It may not make your life complete, but alternative law, mediation and, if needed, arbitration, helps limit the amount of stress and helps you move on more quickly.