You have a choice when getting divorced! You can choose how it will look, how stressful it will be, and how to best handle the legalities of the entire process.

I was inspired recently to revisit the ways you can choose to get divorced after reading an article where the author was pointing out the difference between a good lawyer and a tough lawyer.

It reminded me that there are several ways you can approach your divorce and the decisions you make along the way can set the tone for well into the future, even beyond what you can currently see. 

For instance, if you choose to go with a lawyer whose main goal is to get you revenge, setting this tone will create friction with your ex for the rest of your relationship.  This will cost you more in attorney fees and your divorce will take longer to resolve.  If you have kids, this friction and fighting will surely be apparent to your children. 

So when it comes to divorce, you can set the tone from the beginning by making a conscious choice to choose a path that makes the most sense for you now and in the future.

There are 3 ways to approach divorce: the traditional way, the do-it-yourself approach, and the modern way. 

Traditional - Hire an attorney
Most people immediately jump to hiring an attorney to help them through divorce because they don’t know what else is available. Understandably, they want help through the process and an attorney seems like the easiest way.

If you choose to go the attorney route, know that this may mean court and an expensive road ahead.  I often see couples get more stressed by the process of going through attorneys and court than if they had chosen another approach such as mediation.

Also be sure to choose an attorney that will help you set up a relationship with your ex that won’t add extra tension.  Unlike most attorneys, a mediator will help you maintain the mood you wish to set now and in the future – one of solutions and mutual respect.   

Do-it-yourself – Handle it on your own
It’s true that this process may save you time and money, but fast and cheap can come at a cost. Paralegals or document preparation services can help you with the necessary paperwork to file for divorce if you don’t want to deal with an attorney.

However, if you choose this approach, you are choosing to work with people who don’t have the education, knowledge, or experience your situation may require. As with anything, you get what you pay for. It’s worth it to take some time and ensure you’re setting yourself up for long-term success and nothing will come up later that you need to redo because it wasn’t handled properly the first time.   A mediator can help you get your divorce done right.

Modern - Mediation
In mediation, both parties use the same highly trained, experienced professional who has extensive knowledge of the law and family dynamics. Mediation is referred to as a more modern approach to divorce because it offers an excellent alternative instead of hiring an attorney or doing it yourself.  Simply put, it’s the best of both worlds!

If you choose mediation, rest assured that you have someone who is knowledgeable,  compassionate about your situation, and will work to find the best solution for both parties. Mediation simply requires that you have the desire to have your divorce handled in a professional manner, while still avoiding an expensive, emotional, and lengthy court battle.

There are so many ways to approach a divorce, even through difficult emotions and tricky situations. The choice is up to you to choose the path that will set the tone of the entire process and your future.