If you and your spouse can no longer make the marriage work and you are
now headed for divorce, you might be pondering over the logistics of this
process, including whether it is necessary to go to court in order to
accomplish the deed. The short answer to this question is no, you do not
have to appear in court to get divorced from your spouse. However, you
might have to, depending on the circumstances. For example, if your divorce
is contested and you and your spouse cannot agree on certain key issues,
it is likely the two of you will end up in court, unless you are willing
to try alternative methods to reach an agreement.
In a contested divorce, spouses are unable to arrive at an agreement on
one or more key issues, including child custody, child support, property
division, spousal support, debt allocation, and asset distribution. Even
if you are able to agree on all of these issues except one, you will still
need to go to court to hash out an agreement on the issue you were unable
to address yourselves. Of course, the process of litigation will be able
to go a lot more quickly the fewer issues you have left on the table,
so even if you cannot agree on everything, it would be wise to still attempt
to negotiate and agree on as much as you can.
Mediating Your Divorce
One of the most popular methods for divorcing couples to stay out of court
and take matters into their own hands is through the process of mediation.
The mediator will be a neutral third party who will not advocate on behalf
of you or your spouse. His or her job is simply to facilitate civil negotiations
and keep you both on track. For spouses looking to ease the stress and
frustrations they are already enduring, mediation is also a much easier
process to get through since sessions are mostly informal and can take
place in the mediator’s office. You and your spouse can also have
your own respective attorneys with you to advise and guide you to ensure
you are making the right decisions.
Additionally, since it is less time consuming given that it is not tied
to the court’s schedule, mediation tends to be less expensive and
both parties typically share the cost of a mediator.
Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation since the goal is to ultimately
reach a mutually agreed upon settlement through negotiations. However,
the process differs since it does not involve a mediator. Instead, both
spouses will each have their respective attorney present as they participate
in four-way sessions until they are able to reach an agreement. Those
who practice collaborative law generally also have special training in
Oftentimes, people are more comfortable with the idea of collaborative
divorce compared to mediation, given that their attorney will represent
them in every stage of the process. Just keep in mind that, if you and
your spouse cannot reach an agreement through a collaborative divorce,
you will need to begin the formal divorce process with new attorneys.
Divorce Attorneys in Houston
If you and your spouse are getting a
divorce and want to review your options for how you can effectively go about this,
you need to reach out to the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny. Our legal
team has a vast amount of experience and is equipped with the knowledge
that is necessary to successfully complete the divorce process. Whether
your divorce is contested or you would like to opt for an alternative
method, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, our law office can help you.
Get started on your case today and
contact our team at (713) 936-2300 to schedule a consultation.