Divorce is not a one-size-fits-all process. There are different ways New Jersey couples can go through it, each with its own benefits that suit the couple's temperaments and the current status of their relationship. Importantly, the choices are up to the spouses themselves--they control their own destiny when it comes to resolving the issues surrounding the dissolution of their marriage.
While people can certainly hash out their disagreements in court, some people are increasingly recommending that couples attempt an amicable divorce through such methods as alternative dispute resolution and eschew legal conflict if possible. Amicable divorces offer a number of benefits not available if the spouses head to court. First, they can save money. Avoiding litigation preserves assets that former husbands and wives can put to use as they begin new relationships or, in some circumstances, take care of their children.
Children too provide a reason to seek an amicable divorce. Separation undeniably creates a lot of stress and litigation can amplify it. By working together, couples can quell children's anxiety about the change in family dynamic and they can create child custody agreements that work for all parties.
In addition, a divorce settlement created through alternative dispute resolution gives couples greater influence over the end result. In court, a judge determines issues such as marital property division, alimony and child support. But if couples are willing to hammer out these issues cooperatively, they can create a compromise that fits everybody.
Not all amicable divorce methods are the same. Some couples can reach their goals with the aid of an impartial mediator alone. For couples whose situation demands a little more legal structure, the collaborative law process may be an option. In this method, each couple retains an attorney, but the sides negotiate the terms of the divorce outside of the courtroom.
Source: Forbes, "A Diplomatic Divorce is the Only Way to Go," Alan Dunn, June 28, 2012.