How Do I Get Divorced?

Attorney Katherine Morneau

Attorney Katherine Morneau

It can be an overwhelming when you start to think about divorce.  Many times, our new clients come to us not knowing where to start and ask “How do I get divorced?  What is the process?”  One of the goals of our first meeting is to review the different divorce processes.  You have the choice of how you would like your divorce handled.  Let us help you make that decision.

We have written this blog to give you a little information prior to our first meeting.  We hope that it will help guide you in selecting the best process for you and your family.  There are three basic options if you are unable to work out an agreement with your spouse alone:

  • Collaborative law
  • Mediation
  • Litigation/Court

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is an interest-based process that keeps a team of professionals focused on what is important to you not just what the law dictates.  Working off a jointly created list of goals, we set agendas to keep things moving at your pace and focused on what is most important to you with professional’s guidance.  You and your spouse will each have a collaboratively trained attorney, a neutral financial professional and a facilitator who is a licensed mental health counselor.

 Pros

  • Interest-based
  • Client paced
  • Professional support built into the process
  • Private process
  • Creative solutions
  • More durable agreement
  • Minimizes stress and conflict on family
  • Promotes future co-parenting and dispute resolution

Cons

  • If process fails, would lose collaborative counselcollaborative-law-attorneys-nh

Mediation

Mediation is working together with or without representation with a trained mediator, which may or may not be an attorney.  You will work together to compromise on legal positions.  In most mediation sessions, both parties will feel as if they gave more than they wanted and the other person received more than they deserved.  The Court can appoint a mediator or the parties can select a private mediator on their own.

Pros

  • Could be fast – 1-2 sessions
  • Avoids litigation/Court process

Cons

  • No built-in support from professionals
  • Could have to revisit provisions down road if not enough details entered

Litigation through the Court

Litigation/Court is where a judge will decide anything that cannot be agreed upon.  The Court will apply the law to your facts and require testimony of relevant witnesses along with submission of necessary evidence.  The judges try very hard to understand all of the needs of your family but often cannot give you the “justice” you feel you deserve.

Pros

  • Final resolution if cannot agree

Cons

  • No interest-based discussions that do not apply to law
  • Damaged relationships – harmful to future co-parenting
  • Conflict provoking – Most stressful on family (including children)
  • No built-in support from professionals
  • Could be missing important details to avoid future conflict
  • Court controls the schedule and timing

As divorce attorneys, we have the obligation to explain your options when obtaining a divorce.  Feel free to have a list of questions you want answered written down ahead of time when meeting with us.  This first meeting can be overwhelming but it is our goal to have you feel a sense of relief after hearing about your options and getting some initial legal advice.  Please contact us to learn more about your options and to get help making a clear plan of where you are headed.  We are located in downtown Nashua, NH with lots of free parking and convenient hours.