Divorce Options

Hoffman Divorce Strategies does not give legal advice. This page is for informational purposes only and does not replace the need for legal counsel.

Below are six types of divorces with a description, the best use cases, and the advantages and disadvantages for each type.

Type: Collaborative

Description

  • Each spouse has their own attorney.
  • Each side has access to or is required to use other specialists (coaches, child specialist, financial speicialist, etc.).
  • All professionals have been trained in collaborative process.
  • All agree to collaboration and work together to resolve issues.
  • If either of the couple chooses to end the collaborative process all professionals withdraw.

Best used for

  • Couples who wish to resolve their parenting plan without traumatizing their children.
  • Couples who wish to keep divorce private and avoid the loss of control over their family and money in open court.

Advantages

  • Less expensive than a traditional contested divorce
  • May be more productive
  • Each party has a person looking out for their best interests

Disadvantages

  • Not appropriate if spouse becomes very difficult
  • If process breaks down, spouses will need to retain new attorneys

Type: Traditional

Description

  • Each spouse has their own attorney.

Best used for

  • Situations where spouse is difficult, non-cooperative
  • Divorce has legal issues that require expert advice

Advantages

  • Someone completely "on your side"
  • Expert confidential legal advice

Disadvantages

  • Can be adversarial
  • Can be expensive
  • May become a longer process
  • Can destroy the emotional and financial facets of the family

Type: Single Attorney

Description

  • One spouse retains a single attorney to file for divorce.
  • All paperwork completed and filed by attorney.

Note: Ethically, an attorney may only represent one party.

Best used for

  • Reasonable, amicable divorces

Advantages

  • Less expensive than two attorneys
  • Less adversarial
  • Can be a fairly quick process

Disadvantages

  • One party has the benefit of legal advice, the other does not
  • Not appropriate if divorce becomes difficult

Type: Mediation

Description

  • Couple uses a mediator to help voluntarily settle disputes over issues.
  • Mediator prepares a Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Mediator may or may not be an attorney.

Best used for

  • Couples who have issues to settle, but nothing that has to go to court

Advantages

  • Can be less expensive than traditional method
  • Neutral third party, experienced in mediation
  • Less adversarial

Disadvantages

  • No one completely "on your side"
  • Not appropriate if spouse becomes difficult
  • May need to resort to traditional divorce
  • Either party (or both) may decide to retain attorney
  • Even if mediator is an attorney, each may need review of paperwork by separate attorney (QDROs, etc.)

Type: Pro-Se

Description

  • Divorces filed without the assistance of an attorney.

Best used for

  • Couples with few disputes
  • Couples with few assets – and those easily divisible
  • Childless couples

Advantages

  • Inexpensive
  • Fairly quick

Disadvantages

  • May make legal mistakes
  • May make financial errors calculating support or division of property & debt allocation
  • No professional help on legal, financial or emotional issues

Type: Separation

Description

  • Separated, but not divorced

Best used for

  • Couple does not want to divorce for religious or other reasons
  • Can have child support, maintenance, and property settlement

Advantages

  • Gives children and spouse time to adjust
  • Gives couple time to settle property
  • May retain health insurance

Disadvantages

  • May prolong process
  • May be more expensive
  • "New life" may not be possible

Hoffman Divorce Strategies professionals do not replace a client’s attorney and cannot give legal advice.

HDS can provide consultation or expert testimony and are trained in mediation and collaborative divorce.

Hoffman Divorce Strategies

PO Box 8902
Mandeville, LA 70470-8902

Phone: (985) 674-1120
Fax: (855) 710-6657

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