Few family law issues are without conflict. Whether you are filing for divorce, have significant assets to divide or are embroiled in a dispute over child custody, the negative emotions and stress are likely to be running high. You and other Californians in the same situation may believe your only option is to go to court. Fortunately, you may have uncontested options, which might significantly reduce the mental trauma.
“Uncontested” does not necessarily mean free from conflict. However, reduced stress is one of the common advantages of uncontested divorce over litigation, as FindLaw explains. Mediation and collaborative law are two common methods for resolving disputes peacefully.
During mediation, an experienced mediator will sit with you and your spouse to discuss solutions to your issues. The mediator should be impartial and may suggest ideas that both parties can agree upon.
Collaborative law relies on both spouses and their respective attorneys signing an agreement not to litigate. You might involve other professionals to help in the negotiations, including financial advisors and child therapists. If you are unable to negotiate solutions, your attorneys must resign and you would need to begin the process anew.
In addition to reducing conflict, the following benefits are common with mediation and collaborative law:
- Less time-consuming and costly than a traditional divorce
- Teaches you communication and problem-solving techniques
It is wise to fully educate yourself on your options before making a decision because uncontested methods are not right for everyone. For example, contentious matters such as domestic violence, substance addiction and emotional and financial power struggles can make it difficult to resolve conflicts peacefully. You may wish to speak with an experienced attorney to help you decide on the option that is best for your circumstances.