Divorce is never easy. And the thought of going to court can make it that much worse.
It might help to know that court is not your only option – in fact, the vast majority of New Jersey divorces settle out of court.
Settling out of court generally is where you and your spouse sign a comprehensive legal agreement that resolves all of the issues between you. These typically include child custody, parenting time, child support, college costs for children, alimony, and division of marital assets and debts.
Below are 4 ways to settle your New Jersey divorce out of court:
Many, if not most, New Jersey divorce cases settle out of court by mutual agreement after you and your spouse have negotiated, often with the input and advice of your attorney. For more details about amicable out-of-court negotiations, check out this post.
2. Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is a way to resolve differences with the help of a trained, impartial third party. It is a confidential non-binding dispute resolution process designed to facilitate settlements in an informal, non-adversarial manner.
Both spouses, with or without lawyers, are brought together by the mediator in a neutral setting. The mediator does not represent either side and does not offer legal advice. The spouses are encouraged to retain an attorney to advise them of their rights during the mediation process.
Generally, the mediator helps the parties identify the issues, gather the information they need to make informed decisions, and communicate so that they can find a mutually agreeable solution.
In an arbitration proceeding, an impartial third party decides issues in a case. The parties select the Arbitrator and agree on which issues the Arbitrator will decide. The Parties also agree in advance whether the Arbitrator’s decisions will be binding or treated only as a recommendation.
4. Use of Other Professionals
You and your spouse may also seek help from other skilled professionals to help resolve issues in your divorce. For instance, the value of a business is typically first determined by an accountant with particular expertise in valuing businesses in divorce. The accountant might also be able to help you resolve certain issues relating to the business.
Other professionals in a divorce case might include attorneys with expertise that might be relevant. These might include corporate or estate attorneys, financial professionals, and various types of mental health professionals, for instance, to help resolve custody and parenting time with children.
As with mediation and arbitration, you and your spouse should each consult your attorney for advice throughout this process to ensure your interests are protected and that you are making informed decisions.
Each divorce is of course, unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all. Therefore, depending on your circumstances, it might be helpful for you to use a combination of the above to successfully resolve the issues between you and your spouse in your divorce.
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