Divorce is a difficult time for everyone involved, both emotionally and logistically. When it comes to dividing assets and legally finalizing a divorce, there are several options available.
No matter which option a person chooses, it is always a good plan to hire experienced legal counsel to make sure nothing is overlooked and that the division of assets is fair.
1. Agreement Between The Parties
Occasionally, parties to a marriage may decide that they can determine how to split their property between themselves. While it is wonderful when this is possible, sometimes people going through a divorce have the best of intentions, but simply can’t agree on a few issues.
In addition, there are other factors that can complicate a divorce, such as child custody issues, property in both parties’ names, and calculation of pensions or stocks at the time of divorce, just to name a few.
Also, the petition and decree (the legal documents that make the divorce official) must be prepared and filed in conformance with the laws in the state of Florida in order to be valid.
Sometimes going through divorce negotiations informally at first can bring up tensions and disagreements between the parties. While this may be a good option for some, it may be in both parties’ best interests to hire experienced counsel.
Mediation is a semi-formal meeting where both parties and their lawyers negotiate the division of assets and child custody in the presence of a neutral third-party, known as the mediator.
During mediation, the parties are encouraged to work through issues on their own, but the mediator can assist by suggesting solutions if the parties come to an impasse.
At the end of the mediation, the mediator writes an agreement that details the agreement between the parties. The result of the mediation is not binding.
If the parties decide they do not agree with the outcome, they are free to proceed to trial or arbitration. An attorney can assist with selecting a qualified mediator in a location that is convenient for both parties.
If the parties choose not to try mediation or arbitration, or their settlement attempts fail, then a trial can be held in family court. A trial is a formal proceeding, presided over by a judge.
During a trial, the parties or their attorneys will each be able to present evidence of income, factors that they believe should influence the division of assets, and any other information that may be relevant to the dissolution of the marriage.
The judge hears all of the evidence and makes a determination regarding the division of assets and child custody.
Which Option Is Best?
There is no way to determine which one of the options for divorce is best. It depends on the relationship of the parties (e.g. whether the parties are speaking to one another, etc.), whether there are children involved, whether one of the parties has a significantly higher income than the other, etc.
For example, a couple who both make about the same income and did not have children or purchase a home during the marriage, it is likely that their attorneys could assist them in negotiating a settlement without the need of a trial.
On the other hand, if one party stayed at home to raise children and there are many assets which are on the table, an arbitration or trial may be necessary to protect everyone’s interest.
Both parties to a divorce should discuss the options with an experienced family law attorney to determine the best course of action.
Contact Wrage Law Today
If you are experiencing a divorce, you have many things to consider. Divorce is a significant change in a person’s life, and it can cause a lot of stress and insecurity.
The attorneys at Wrage Law are here to help you through this process and make sure you get a fair outcome for your divorce. Contact our offices today for a free consultation at (813) 750-0657.