Law Office of Mei Nakamoto
Hawaii Divorce And Family Law Attorneys

No, your divorce doesn't have to go to court

The innovators of our world often begin with simply wondering if there might be a better way. The story has it that Steve Jobs looked at his old cell phone and asked if there was a better way. Indeed there was and the iPhone has forever changed the way we communicate and interact with technology.

Some may view divorce litigation as the old, business as usual way, of handling divorces. It can be a long, drawn out process that can be as ugly as you can imagine. Divorce litigation can be:

  • Time consuming. If you're looking for a quick way out, this often is not it.
  • Expensive. Time is money, especially with legal fees.
  • Anger inducing. You and your ex could end up in a competition where it is rare for both parties to win.
  • Unproductive. You may realize after much time, money and emotional pain, that the litigation isn't really getting you anywhere.

Are there alternatives to litigation?

Yes, there certainly are. Several, in fact.

What are the alternatives?

There are several methods, such as divorce mediation, collaborative divorce and child custody mediation. Often through these methods, spouses and parents can avoid a bitter courtroom fight and instead negotiate outside of court to reach a divorce agreement or child custody agreement that is optimal for everyone involved. Also, these methods could help clients develop more satisfying and longer-lasting agreements than if the issues were left up to a judge's decision.

Divorce Mediation

In mediation, both parties meet with an independent mediator who is trained to facilitate the divorce process, keep the communication open, offer ideas and help the parties arrive at an agreement that they both can live with.

Collaborative Divorce

Like divorce mediation, collaborative divorce is designed to resolve the divorce out of court. Both spouses must agree to the process, which uses a team approach to aid with decision making. The teams may use family or child specialists, financial specialists, attorneys specializing in this collaborative process and others as needed.

Child Custody Mediation

Using a professional mediator--who acts as a neutral third party--can facilitate discussion and take a lot of the adversarial relationship out of the process. Children can often feel the anger between their parents, and this can make them fearful, insecure and pessimistic about their future. One of the potential benefits of working with a child custody mediator is an increased willingness from both parents to follow the agreed upon arrangement. This, in turn, can help encourage continuing peacefulness between parents.

The process of divorce can be emotionally charged, as well as expensive, stressful and complicated, but finding an alternative dispute resolution method that keeps the divorce out of the courtroom could, in some instances, benefit everyone involved. There may a better way, after all.

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