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Alternative dispute resolution is not for everyone

The details of your marriage breakup are likely very different from those of other divorcing couples. While many spouses simply drift apart, others go through traumatic conflicts they can't resolve, and still others may experience a series of betrayals. Whatever the cause of your decision to divorce your spouse, you have numerous choices for the path you will take to dissolve the marriage.

Among those choices are mediation and collaboration. More couples are choosing these methods of divorce because they are less contentious and allow spouses to walk away with dignity and the potential for cooperating over common issues in the future. This is important for couples who have children or own businesses together. However, there are also circumstances where these alternative dispute resolution methods may not be appropriate and you need a strong litigator on your side.

It may be better to litigate

Even a bitter and angry divorce can benefit from mediation or collaboration. In fact, some warring couples find that going through the process of mediation allows them to find common ground and end on a more positive note. However, you may be in one of these situations in which negotiating is not an option:

  • You want to make the divorce as difficult and painful for your spouse as possible, which some spouses do if they are ending a particularly difficult marriage.
  • You do not want the details of your divorce to remain private, which will happen during mediation. This may be true if your spouse is a public official or celebrity, and you want to expose some hypocrisy.
  • Your spouse is not being reasonable with his or her divorce demands.
  • Your spouse has too much power to allow you to negotiate effectively.
  • You have been the victim of your spouse's abuse or violence and do not feel safe sitting at the same table and mediating with him or her.
  • You believe your spouse is hiding assets from you.

Mediators do not have the authority to compel your spouse to make a complete disclosure of all assets and accounts. However, during a traditional, litigated divorce, the Florida family court can order your spouse to reveal all assets, and your attorney can use the discovery phase of the proceedings to investigate your spouse's claims.

While no divorce is easy, it is in your best interests to find the method of ending your marriage that is the most cost-effective and least stressful. Your emotions may be strong, making it difficult to make an objective decision. The counsel of an attorney can guide you in the method of divorce that is most appropriate for your circumstances.

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