Divorce Choices

by Michael Stokamer
Choices for Separation and Divorce

Couples who have decided to get legally separated or divorced must choose how to go about it.


The separating or divorcing couple, that chooses the mediation makes all decisions with the help of a professional mediator. Through Mediation, they can decide about:

  • Custody and support of children
  • Division of property
  • Spousal support
Advantages of Mediation:
  • Mediation is private and confidential. The couple has discussions and makes decisions, on what is best for their family in the privacy of the mediator’s office
  • The parties decide how often to meet, so the process can take as much time, or as little time, as they need.
  • They make all decisions by agreement, not a judge or other outsider.
  • Mediation is cost effective

Learn more about Divorce Mediation.


In this option, the Husband and Wife each hire their own specially trained Collaborative Lawyer to help work out solutions. The lawyers sign an agreement not to go to court, but rather to help the couple t discuss all issues and help agree on what is best for the family If either the husband or the wife chooses to go to court, both lawyers must withdraw from the case and the couple will have to retain other, litigating attorneys.

Advantages of Collaborative Practice Divorce:
  • The wife and husband have the benefit of their lawyers advice throughout the entire process -The focus is on what is best for the entire family
  • The process is private and confidential. The case does not go to court.
  • A team of helpful professionals is available.

Learn more about Collaborative Practice Divorce.


In this option, sometimes called the "Kitchen Table" model, the couple deals directly with each other. They prepare the paperwork needed to get their own divorce. They may find information and forms from websites like Divorce.com, and DivorceOnline.com.

New York and in New Jersey couples can obtain forms from the courts.

This model may be a good option for you if you have no children, no debt, and no property.


Litigation is the old, traditional way that people got divorced. In this option each side hires a lawyer who does all he/she can to discredit the other side. If the lawyers do not reach an agreement, there is a trial and a judge makes binding decisions.

This option is most expensive of all the models. The lawyers and the judges drive the decisions. The family, whose lives will be affected have little say and are often emotionally and financially drained by the experience.