You do not have to go to court to get divorced. Out-of-court agreements are very popular because they can be faster and cheaper, and because they give you and your spouse more control over the outcome.
Often, you’re still going to work with an attorney or a mediator. You don’t do this entirely alone. And you do need to get your eventual agreement approved. But, even so, you know that you are the one making the decisions about things like child custody arrangements and division of assets, rather than just having a judge tell you what you have to do.
There are two factors that will determine if you and your spouse can use an out-of-court approach or not. Just ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you willing and able to work productively with your spouse to find a solution? Is he or she willing and able to work with you? Couples often find this hardest when one person wants to get divorced and the other does not, but you have to work together to do this at all.
- Do you disagree on major issues, and how severely do you disagree? If you have some minor things that you can compromise on, that’s fine. If you already agree on everything, that’s even better. But, if you’re dead set against each other on something critical like sole custody of the children, then you probably need to go to court.
The key is just to explore all of the options that you have to find out what will work the best for you, your spouse, and your family. Then you’ll know how to proceed.