Peaceful divorce resolution is not just the future of divorce in America – it is a growing trend now.
People are abandoning the customary model of hiring lawyers to fight a bitter and costly war in divorce court. Many are opting instead to employ less antagonistic methods to negotiate a peaceful and practical divorce resolution. A resolution that reduces emotional stress is less costly and treats all family members with respect. Peaceful divorce resolution is a smart option today because 95-98% of all divorces in the United States settle out of court anyway, so why waste money on going down an expensive and infuriating litigation path.
Some countries have reformed their family law systems by shifting the focus from litigation as the primary or “default” way to resolve family law issues to more peaceful means of resolution. For example, Australia now requires divorcing couples to make a genuine effort to resolve their issues before starting a case in Family Court. England and Wales have made similar requirements.
However, in the United States family law is a matter for the individual states, making it a decentralized and fragmentary system. Some states, including California, do not require divorce mediation for child custody and visitation disputes. In addition, different counties within a state may enforce separate mandatory mediation requirements in various ways.
The growing trend of peaceful divorce resolution is not only due to governments trying to keep these cases from clogging the courts by mandating attempts at mediation, but also because of the financial realities of our economy and a shrinking middle class. Many people just cannot afford the expense of a traditional court trial and are seeking more cost-effective ways to divorce.
But while the efforts to minimize the cost and time of litigation are important, a peaceful divorce resolution needs to be centered on healing the minds and spirits of all family members in a very personal process. Both the divorce process itself and the emotional effects of divorce should be addressed at the same time.
Let’s look at the different divorce services options and assess which work best for peaceful divorce resolution.
- Traditional divorce is hiring a lawyer trained as a litigator, thus bringing an adversarial approach to divorce, and is at the top of the cost ladder for divorce services. Emotional conflict is amplified, with stress and frustration on both sides and a long protracted battle that will be likely settled without trial.
- Collaborative divorce is another option. Each party in the divorce hires their own collaborative divorce attorney and other professionals to try to achieve a settlement and avoid going to trial. This can be costly since each party has to hire their own collaborative attorney, financial planner and other support services. Emotional needs may be on the agenda, but at a high cost.
- A mediated divorce is another alternative. A mediation firm brings the divorced parties to dissolution of the marriage contract at a slightly lower cost than using a lawyer and without going to trial. Usually no emotional support is provided.
- Amicable or peaceful divorce is a popular choice especially among middle income families because it is significantly less costly than using a lawyer or mediation. Considering the divorce holistically, it goes beyond the legal requirements and document processing to begin a healing process for all involved in the divorce.
- A recent addition to divorce service options was spawned by the Internet and known as an online or forms only divorce service. This divorce service simply provides the legal forms for an uncontested divorce and is the lowest cost divorce option. No personal or emotional support is offered.
For the 95-98% of divorcing couples that will not be going to court to get divorced, the growing popularity of peaceful divorce is obvious. Its focus to support the divorcing couples and family through both the legal and emotional aspects of divorce along with its lower cost over more traditional divorce options makes it matchless.
Divorce With Dignity is well-positioned in the market as the brand leader in peaceful divorce. We offer legal professionals a new business opportunity to capitalize on the peaceful divorce resolution trend. With over 17 years of proven success as a divorce services business, we offer legal professionals a path to success in owning their own business, or adding a new revenue stream to an existing legal business without adding overhead.