Frequently, the end of a marriage is fraught with resentment and bitterness. These feelings of resentment and bitterness may make negotiation very difficult. The idea of sitting down and negotiating the allocation of parental rights and the division of property is frightening. Despite the difficulty, there are many reasons why it is usually better to negotiate a dissolution rather than litigate a divorce – here are the top 5:
Cost – A divorce is very expensive. The average rate for Ohio divorce lawyers is between $200 and $300 per hour. I think everyone could agree that they have better uses for their money than paying hundreds of dollars an hour to a lawyer. Generally, a dissolution is handled for a flat fee and the total cost is substantially less than that of a litigated divorce.
Control – You and your spouse are in the best position to know what is in the best interest of your children and yourselves. When you litigate a divorce you are asking the judge to decide how to divide your property and allocate parental rights. Do you really want someone else to make such important decisions after only hearing your story during a short trial?
Civility – If you and your spouse have children you are going to have to deal with one another for many years to come. The process of negotiating a dissolution can be a building block for successful future relations. You will be doing your children a great service if you quickly learn to work civilly with your spouse. Make no mistakes about it – when a marriage fails it is difficult on the children! Having a nasty custody battle means you are taking an already stressful situation and making it much worse.
Speed – A quick and efficient resolution to your end of marriage arrangements helps the healing process. A litigated divorce takes a substantial amount of time and energy. Stretching out the process over a period of many months (or longer – sometimes much longer) means that you have to continue living with the pain, resentment and fear. A dissolution is fast and allows you to move on with your new life.
Win-Win – The process of negotiating means that both sides will have to make compromises. If each party can walk away feeling that they got a fair resolution they can move from a place of pain and resentment towards a place of healing. You may think that the only way to overcome your anger and resentment is to cause pain (through the legal system) to your spouse, psychologists tells us that this will not help. If you want to get over the resentment, forgiveness and negotiation will take you much further than annihilating your spouse in the court room.
Now, it is important to mention that there are cases where negotiation is not possible. For example, where one spouse has been abusive it is not a good idea to try to negotiate. In order to determine if you should pursue dissolution rather than divorce you should talk to a qualified Ohio divorce lawyer.