If you watch television or movies, you probably get the impression that going through a divorce means spending hours and a lot of money fighting in court. However, there are other ways to handle the process.
If you and your spouse agree to end the marriage, and you are able to communicate and negotiate, there are other methods that are not as contentious or as stressful.
According to the New Jersey Courts, arbitration is one alternative method. The couple can choose an arbitrator, who is a neutral third party, to decide on certain, or all, decisions. Each side presents his or her evidence and statement, and the arbitrator makes a decision based on the information. The couple must agree to abide by the decisions the arbitrator makes.
Another option that is popular is mediation. According to FindLaw, mediation also has a neutral third party known as the mediator. This individual sits down with the couple, either together or separately, to help them come to a divorce agreement. The mediator has conflict-resolution skills and can guide the conversation if things become heated. He or she may also offer creative solutions when coming to an agreement is difficult.
There are multiple reasons why mediation is the most common form of dispute resolution for divorcing couples. It is much less expensive and quicker than court litigation. It is also less stressful because each side is able to state needs and wishes in an emotional capacity. Going through the mediation process tends to result in ex-spouses that communicate better with each other. If there are children, mediation also allows for better family dynamics. The mediation proceedings and information gathered are confidential, which is an advantage over litigation.