Do You Know How to Get a Divorce?

divorce options

That's it! We're through! I want a divorce!

I'm sure you can remember the exact second you said or thought those words and really, really meant them.

Your mind is made up. You are getting a divorce. But, do you know how? Do you know what your options are?

I've asked divorce experts to share their advice for women considering divorce. Read their tips which will help you better understand your options and make the right decisions for your situation:

Tip #1: Know The "Paths" of Divorce

Many times when deciding to end a marriage, the first place people turn is to a divorce attorney. While they are full of information and advice, they charge by the hour, so learning from them can be expensive. The most cost effective approach is to do some online research and ask friends about their divorces – what they wished they had done differently and what they were pleased with.

Be sure to learn the differences between litigation, mediation, arbitration and collaboration – the four common paths to divorce. There are pros and cons to each process, and it can be challenging to start over in a new path if you went down the wrong one. Save yourself time, money and stress by understanding the ways in which people resolve their divorces and finding the right way for you and your spouse.

— Noah B. Rosenfarb, CPA, ABV, PFS, CDFA, Freedom Divorce Advisors,

Tip #2: Settling without Having to Settle

Settling your divorce litigation is almost always a better choice than going to trial. There will be no more delays. The emotional and financial tolls will cease. The strife and anxiety will end. You will be able to control the outcome of your divorce litigation. The children will not be subjected to the hardship and pain of a custody trial. You will certainly be happier controlling the outcome of your divorce than having a judge do it for you, with the potential of an appeal and a "do over" a year later if the appellate courts agree with the party who appeals.

— Ronald Lieberman Adinolfi and Goldstein, PA

Tip #3: Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution

The legal bills associated with your divorce can be very expensive – a traditional litigated divorce can cost tens of thousands of dollars if you go to trial. You can cut the cost by ½ to ¾ if you use alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or collaborative divorce. Mediation is a process in which you and your spouse sit down together with a mediator and the three of you create solutions that are custom designed to solve the issues in your divorce. Your goal is to reach a solution that you can both be comfortable with, in a cooperative, non-confrontational manner.

Collaborative divorce is a similar process in which you and your spouse each hire attorneys whose goals are to find a mutually agreeable settlement. These attorneys do not take your case to trial, but focus only on negotiation and working out terms that both of you can be comfortable with.

To find a mediator or collaborative attorney, contact your local bar association. Be sure to get fee information up front and schedule an initial meeting to determine if this professional is someone you would feel comfortable with. If you do go ahead with alternative dispute, you will save not only save money, but also time. Mediated or collaborative divorces generally reach a resolution within two to five months, whereas litigated divorces often last a year or more.

Brette Sember, attorney and author of "The Divorce Organizer & Planner" and "The Complete Divorce Handbook",

A big thanks to these divorce experts for the tips they've shared!

If you're considering or proceeding through a divorce, information is key. Please take some time to educate yourself using the free information here at

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