When considering divorce, clients are usually familiar with going to court
and fighting. More and more couples are learning there are effective,
Some spouses want to fight but others don’t. Having a choice is a
gift. Finding the right path requires thoughtful consideration and legal strategy.
As a divorce attorney/mediator for over 35 years, I have guided many, many
spouses towards the path that is right for them and their family.
Believe it or not, there are those spouses who only want to fight. But
for those open to a non-adversarial option, there is a more positive and
peaceful solution – it’s mediation. Litigation is not the
Both paths, litigation and mediation, lead to a divorce, but the journey,
emotional investment, and the process are very different.
Let me help you choose the best path for you!
Under the traditional system, imported from England originally, couples
went to court to obtain a divorce.
Each spouse hires his or her own "advocate," and they engage
in what is normally an adversarial process. The steps can include negotiation
between the attorneys. If or when this is not working, there is always
the threat of
"going to court," where a judge will make decisions about all
the issues, including custody and visitation, child support, spousal support,
and the division of property.
The court process is particularly daunting. It includes serving a summons
and complaint, an answer, and exchanging financial information and documents.
This exchange is called "discovery," and it is, in fact, a way to find
out the facts about the parties' finances. It can include subpoenas
served on banks, businesses and third parties. It may also include applications
made to the court for various types of relief, such as temporary child
and spousal support,
interim custody, and counsel fees.
Once you get locked into the system, it is extremely hard to find your
way out. It is expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. Ultimately,
it may be the only vehicle for warring couples of a certain ilk. In some
cases I call this the vehicle used to “punish.” This path
is often attractive to spouses who want revenge, enjoy conflict, and seek
to maintain control over the other spouse.
This path to divorce involves working with an unbiased mediator, usually
a lawyer, whose function is to assist a couple in a peaceful process,
to make decisions together, and arrive at an agreement that is fair to both.
For people who have never experienced it, mediation is surprisingly and
stunningly effective. It is quick, inexpensive, and not
adversarial. It is a three-part process, consisting of the negotiations,
the preparation of an agreement, and preparation and submission of the
divorce documents to a judge for signature.
In the last decade, mediation has become the popular choice of many divorcing
couples, especially millennials. In fact, during the pandemic, while the
courts had been closed, couples have been calling and frequently asking
me about mediation.
It has been particularly difficult for disgruntled couples sheltering in
place over the last almost 2 years to continue in an already unhappy marriage.
For some in abusive relationships, continuing to struggle in the marriage
is no longer acceptable-life is just too short. I have actually had phone
consultations with a spouse, while they were sitting in their car for
privacy, answering their questions about divorce. I have guided many of
them on how to safely discuss divorce with their spouse, and how to introduce
mediation as a positive, less expensive alternative to going to court.
If you are thinking of divorcing and would like to discuss litigation vs.
mediation, call me. We can talk about the details of your marriage and
select the best path for you.
For those of you not quite ready for divorce, there are other options,
like a separation or postnuptial agreement.
Call me today and we can discuss the right path for you. My consultations,
which are free, are informative and comprehensive.
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are
conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.
We still have some appointments available for this week.
I look forward to helping you.
Stay healthy and safe!
When it comes to your future and that of your family, don’t leave
anything to chance.
Call New York Divorce Lawyer Lois M. Brenner, Esq. to schedule your free