Those who live in Clarksville, Tennessee, have no doubt seen their fair share of divorces. The high rate of divorce for marriages in the U.S. means that if you have not been involved in a divorce it is likely that you know someone who has. Some reports estimate the divorce rate to be as high as 50 percent.
There are three ways that a couple can get a divorce: litigation, mediation and pro se. Divorces that head directly to litigation are often the most contentious, involving spouses that cannot agree on a settlement. Mediation may be the right choice for couples that are splitting more amicably. Pro se litigation is the least costly, because both spouses represent themselves in court.
If a couple and their respective attorneys are in front of a judge, the cost of the divorce will likely be much more than those that choose mediation or pro se. Issues such as child custody, spousal support and property division often cause disagreements to arise between divorcing spouses. If no prenuptial agreement was signed, litigation may be the only route for a couple that can't agree on anything.
Mediation often occurs between couples that have mutually lost the love they once shared for one another. Those couples that elect to pursue mediation will bring in a single attorney that has no interests in the outcome of the divorce. This process is voluntary, and if one spouse so chooses, the divorce can be taken to the level of litigation.
A pro se divorce is the cheapest, because both spouses are in charge of representing themselves and filing any documents that are required by the court. In order to pursue a pro se divorce, the couple must first agree on all matters before pursuing the divorce.
Couples with children may want to pursue mediation or pro se divorces, because those will have the added benefit of keeping the children away from an acrimonious court battle. In the long run, it can help parents maintain strong relationships with their children.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "What It Costs To Get Divorce," Manish Sahajwani, May 15, 2012