Understanding Your Divorce Options
Do you know what your options are when it comes to divorce? The steps in divorce can vary by the type of relationship you have: is it amicable or collaborative, or is it tension-filled and contentious? Knowing your options is always good. We can explain the different types of divorce and help you select which one is best for your circumstances.
Divorce is a very personal process that impacts each individual differently. Because of this, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to divorce. In Wisconsin, couples can file for divorce using four distinct methods. Each style can be influenced by unique laws, or the approach you and your spouse take to the process. D'Angelo & Grabow have over 30 years of combined divorce experience. Our attorneys can explain your options and help you select the right method for your family.
4 Distinct Paths Through Divorce
Each family’s situation is unique. Our attorneys can analyze your family’s circumstances and case goals to recommend one of the following divorce styles:
- Traditional — If you and your spouse fully agree on the terms of divorce, it is known as an uncontested divorce. This allows you to file paperwork with the court without going to trial. If you cannot agree to the settlement terms, a judge will determine your case, a contested divorce. Contested divorces are typically lengthier and more expensive to complete. A skilled attorney can represent your best interests in court in either type of traditional divorce.
- Mediation — During mediation, you and your spouse work with a neutral mediator to settle your divorce. The mediator does not work for either spouse, offer legal advice or make decisions. Instead, they facilitate communication and help your family agree to a settlement. You may also choose to only mediate on select aspects of your case.
- Do-it-yourself — You are not required to hire an attorney to file for divorce. Some couples finalize their own settlement to save money on attorney’s fees. Unfortunately, acting without the counsel of a trained attorney can lead to costly mistakes. Wisconsin also allows individuals to hire a lawyer in a limited capacity. Under this arrangement, an individual would only secure an attorney’s counsel for select aspects of divorce — such as reviewing the settlement before it is finalized, helping you calculate child support or giving you advice on a specific issue.
- Collaborative — During a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse work together to agree upon a satisfactory settlement. If collaboration fails, each spouse would need to leave existing counsel and hire a new attorney. This method can be especially beneficial for parents. It allows you to work as a team to determine a mutually beneficial child custody arrangement and visitation schedule. Collaboration can reduce some of the rancor that typically accompanies a litigious divorce.