Save Time and Money by Avoiding the Courtroom
Divorce does not have to be a lengthy, exhausting process. In many cases, divorce mediation and collaborative divorce can achieve resolution in half the time that traditional litigation requires. Donna Smiedt and her legal team in Arlington, TX, can weigh your options and help determine which avenue is best. To arrange to meet with a divorce mediation lawyer, please call (817) 572-9900 or contact us online.
Alternative Divorce Options
Deciding to end your marriage is a major life change that can seem overwhelming. However, with the advent of alternative proceedings, it can be much more cooperative and positive than traditional litigation. In comparison with a traditional divorce, collaborative divorce and mediation are often faster, easier, and less expensive than resolving your divorce agreement in court. Both mediation and collaborative divorce can help you resolve all aspects of your divorce, including:
In addition, both methods allow you to build a more positive, post-divorce relationship, which can be especially beneficial if you and your spouse have children together.
Collaborative divorce emphasizes out-of-court resolution for a more civil and straightforward approach. A typical collaborative divorce can take between eight and 14 months to complete. During this process, each spouse hires a divorce attorney trained in the collaborative law process. The role of the lawyer is to represent the best interests of their client while supporting the collaborative process.
Our team has the training to help you reach an agreement that protects your best interests as well as those of your children.
You and your spouse, along with your respective attorneys and a neutral mediator, will meet in a neutral location, such as a conference room, to discuss all aspects of your divorce. Our collaborative law attorneys, Donna Smiedt and Desaray Muma, can act either as attorney or mediator during this process. Depending on your needs, we can also help you find additional experts to assist with the process. These experts may include:
- Financial professionals
- Child specialists
- Mental health professionals
- Additional mediators
During your first meeting, we may ask you and your spouse to determine your initial goals regarding separation of property, child custody, and child support. The remaining meetings will determine the resolution of these goals. You can also use these meetings to develop a co-parenting plan. Once a resolution is reached, you and your spouse’s respective attorneys can gather and organize the necessary documents for official submission to a judge.
During mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a neutral third party, called a mediator, to discuss and resolve all the aspects of your divorce. While mediators do not necessarily need to be attorneys, having a board-certified family attorney involved in these proceedings may bring you valuable peace of mind. The role of a mediator is to:
- Help you and your spouse identify and understand what needs to be addressed during your divorce so you can make informed decisions
- Act as a peacekeeper
- Recommend solutions and help you reach a mutually acceptable agreement customized to fit your needs
- Draft the required paperwork to make your divorce agreement official
Depending on the pace of the process, which is primarily directed by you and your spouse, a mediated divorce can take two to six months. However, your agreement is not legally binding until it has been finalized by a judge.
Reach a Decision Peacefully
Traditional divorces often become contentious. In contrast, clients often find it easier to exercise patience and respect during mediation and collaborative law sessions. To learn about our alternative divorce services, call our office at (817) 572-9900 or contact us online today.