When people who have never been through a divorce try to imagine what it would be like, many imagine soon-to-be exes exposing each other’s secrets in court while their family, friends and neighbors are called in as witnesses and forced to take sides. Divorce, however, doesn’t have to be — and really shouldn’t be — a public and humiliating affair. In fact, the proceeding does not even have to be played out in the courtroom. Divorcing couples today have many options to get through the process in a much less adversarial way.

Why isn’t court always the best process?

For some couples, court may be their only option, but for the vast majority of couples, there are other alternatives that will make the future easier and better for both of them. There are several reasons why it is helpful for couples to consider an alternate process to get divorced. Most importantly, for couples with children, avoiding a nasty court battle will help them salvage their parental relationship so they can effectively co-parent.

Using other processes will also save stress on the entire family so they do not have to go through litigation and witness the couple as they struggle to resolve their private matters. When couples face each other in court, they feel like enemies out to defeat each other. By using a more collaborative process, that antagonistic feeling is not as present.

Another reason why it may be better to pursue other avenues of dispute resolution is that it will be less expensive. Money is already going to be tight, and court costs add up quickly. Other processes, like mediation, do not cost as much money and allow the parties to have more control over the process.

The court process also takes a long time. Dates for hearings leave spouses at the mercy of the court calendar. The longer the divorce stretches out, the more emotional turmoil the family has to go through. Once the decision to divorce is made, it is best to get through the process quickly.

Seek help from professionals

It is difficult to go through a divorce alone. Experienced legal professionals, knowledgeable about Pennsylvania divorce law, can make the process of divorce much less adversarial. An attorney can help people gather all of the information that they need to go through the divorce smoothly and fairly, and will also help people discover alternatives to litigation so they can get through the divorce faster and with less stress and expenses.