If a decision is made to end a marriage, what are your options to move forward? The best option is always to consult with a family law attorney. It is extremely important that your consultation be with a family law attorney. The attorney you choose must be someone whom you believe, after your consultation, is going to listen to you and work with you in the process you choose. The attorney you choose should not dictate to you what you should do, but should be willing to work with you in the process and speak to you intelligently every step of the way about your options; the different processes available to accomplish your goals; and the best fit for you.
To me, an initial consult is one of the most important decisions in your case and your future; it is critical that you thoroughly assess who you choose. If that person is rushed and not listening to you or not willing to talk to you about the full spectrum of the processes, then you need to take that into consideration in your decision making and find an attorney who will offer you these attributes.
Very broadly speaking, you have the following options for the divorce process:
- Traditional, litigated divorce
- Litigated divorce resolved, at some point in the process, by mediation
- Collaborative divorce
I encourage you to explore all of these options with the attorney(s) with whom you consult to find the process best suited to you and your needs.