When Getting a Divorce May Not Be Your Best Option
Why You Might Not Want a Divorce (but think you do)
If your marriage is on the rocks, you may be thinking about what options you have to move forward with your life without your partner. Divorce can be complex in New York and sometimes, it’s not the right choice even for couples who want to dissolve their marriage. Here’s what you should know about divorce alternatives on Long Island and how to decide which route holds the best potential resolution for your circumstances.
You or Your Ex Need the Other’s Health Insurance Coverage
One of the most common reasons a married couple ends their relationship without formally getting a divorce is that they want to remain legally married on paper for the purpose of maintaining access to certain benefits. Often, this is health insurance coverage offered by one spouse’s job and if you get divorced, the other spouse will lose access to affordable medical care.
The Solution is Legal Separation
Legal separation allows for you and your spouse to formally and legally separate but not divorce, so you are both free to live independently from one another without one party losing critical benefits. You can pursue a divorce after a legal separation and may wish to do so once the covered spouse obtains their own insurance.
You and Your Ex Can’t Afford Litigation
In high-conflict divorces, many spouses have difficulty communicating with each other. This leaves their divorce lawyers to duke it out with each other, often on the courtroom floor when the case proceeds to divorce litigation. Litigation can be expensive, however, and in many cases, it’s not in the best interests of either party in the divorce. Unless you stand to gain a significant windfall from a high-net-worth divorce, litigation for the sake of litigation often does more harm than good.
The Solution Can Be Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation offers a way to dissolve your marriage without having to go to court and letting a judge decide the terms of your divorce for you. During a mediation session, you and your ex meet with each other and a neutral third party to discuss issues related to your split, such as alimony, child custody, and other important matters. The goal of mediation is to be able to reach an agreement with your ex about a particular matter without involving the court system, however, it does require you to be amenable to compromise.
You Don’t Want to Litigate, But Mediation Isn’t an Option
For some couples, mediation isn’t an option because they’re simply too at odds with their ex to communicate effectively or reach any type of agreement. This can make dissolving the marriage harder on everyone, including your children if you have them. Traditional divorce litigation still has its disadvantages though, and it may not be any better of an option for your family. For example, if you and your ex cannot decide on child custody and visitation terms but can’t afford to formally hire an attorney and go to court, you may be unsure of how to move forward.
The Solution Could Be Arbitration (but Not in NY)
In some states, Arbitration is a type of legal remedy that involves the hiring of a private judge to hear your case, unfortunately, New York State does not allow Arbitration. If you are divorcing in another state that allows arbitration, you and your ex’s lawyers would represent you and a private judge would make the final decisions regarding the matters at hand, just like with litigation. In states where arbitration is allowed, the hearing would be held privately and the judge you hire is paid for by you, your spouse, or a combination of both. The advantages of arbitration are similar to that of mediation, including reduced cost, less time, and increased privacy.
How to Choose the Right Way to Dissolve Your Marriage
With multiple ways to end your marriage on Long Island and each method having clear benefits and drawbacks, you may be struggling to choose the best path for your family’s unique needs. At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we know how frustrating this can be and we’re here to help. We’ll review the details of your case and listen to you discuss your ideas and overall goals for this chapter of your life. Then, we’ll help you develop a solid legal strategy designed to elicit the best possible results in your case. Call today for your initial consultation at 631-923-1910.
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At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.
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