Decatur Family Law and Probate Attorney

3 approaches that help divorcing couples avoid litigation

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2021 | Divorce

Divorce litigation can turn ugly easily. However, no matter how intense emotions may be, it is ultimately state law that dictates how the court handle custody and property division matters or it is a settlement between the divorcing couples that resolves the issue.

Those who don’t want to give control over all of their biggest issues to a stranger may find that settling outside of court is preferable to litigating. Those hoping to keep the cost of divorce lower may also want to consider arranging a settlement for an uncontested divorce rather than pursuing litigation.

However, if you don’t have a marital agreement and you don’t agree with your ex on crucial details, the two of you will have to find a way to resolve those disagreements. Thankfully, there are certain tools that can help those who want to settle their divorce matters outside of court.


Arbitration may be the best-known alternative dispute resolution system. Often associated with big businesses, arbitration is a process somewhat like court. Both sides involved in a dispute explain things to an arbitrator, who should be neutral. After hearing the details of the issue, the arbitrator suggests a resolution that they feel would be appropriate and fair.

Binding arbitration requires that both parties agree to whatever the arbitrator decides before they know the resolution. Many couples choose a non-binding approach so that they can use the suggestion as a starting point for their own negotiations.


Mediation requires a neutral professional, just like arbitration. However, that individual does not fill the same kind of role that a judge does. Instead, they help facilitate discussions between both parties and assist in reaching a compromise.

Sometimes, in high-conflict scenarios, a mediator might even go back and forth between the separate parties so that negotiations don’t occur face-to-face. This approach can be particularly beneficial when a divorcing couple has children, as custody arrangements often require some finesse to resolve.

Collaborative divorce

With a collaborative divorce, you and your ex don’t need any outside professionals other than your own attorneys. Your lawyers will guide you by letting you know what is reasonable, legal and appropriate given your circumstances. You will then negotiate with one another or through your lawyers to craft your own settlement.

All three of these are approaches require some degree of compromise and patience. However, if you are able to work with your ex in your divorce, you can reach a resolution that is both quicker and more in tune with your priorities than the results of a litigated divorce might be.

Exploring all of the ways they handled the dissolution of your marriage can lead to an easier and less stressful divorce process.