The Best Alternatives to Settling a Divorce in Court

Lawyer mediating unhappy couple

Divorce is never an easy process, and the prospect of battling it out in court can make an already difficult situation even more challenging. However, there are alternatives to settling a divorce in court that can save time, money, and emotional distress while leading to a favorable outcome for you and your family.

Here are the best alternatives to settling a divorce in court.


Mediation is a flexible and cost-effective way to resolve divorce disputes without going to court. In this process, a neutral third-party mediator helps the couple negotiate and reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediators do not make decisions for the couple. Instead, they facilitate communication, clarify issues, and suggest possible solutions. Mediation can address various aspects of a divorce, such as property division, child custody, and spousal support.

The benefits of mediation include lower costs, greater control over the outcome, and a quicker resolution compared to court litigation. Mediation is typically less adversarial, which can help preserve a positive relationship between the divorcing couple, especially if children are involved.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is another out-of-court option that focuses on cooperation and problem-solving. In this process, each spouse hires an attorney committed to helping them settle. The couple, their attorneys, and any other professionals involved (such as financial planners or child specialists) work together to resolve all divorce-related issues in a series of meetings.

This approach allows the couple to maintain control over the decision-making process and encourages open communication. Collaborative divorce can be more cost-effective than traditional litigation and can result in a more satisfactory outcome for both parties.


Arbitration is a more formal alternative to court litigation, but it still offers some advantages over a traditional court process. In arbitration, an impartial arbitrator listens to both sides and makes a binding decision on the disputed issues. The process is typically faster and less expensive than going to court, and the couple has more control over the choice of the arbitrator and the rules that will govern the proceedings. A downside of arbitration is that you cannot appeal a decision made by the arbitrator, whereas, in court, you can appeal a decision made by the judge.

Contact a Family Law Attorney

When going through a divorce, no matter how you choose to settle, one of your first steps should be to contact an experienced attorney. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can help you determine which of these methods is most suitable for your situation. If the court is the only viable option to settle a divorce, your attorney can fight for you. At Johnson, Ratliff & Waide, we have over 60 years of combined experience helping families reach a resolution that best meets their needs.

If you are going through a divorce, contact us at (601) 202-8570 to learn more about how we can help you.

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