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Different Ways to Divorce, What's Right for You?


Just like marriages, every divorce is unique. What works for one couple may not work for another, so it's essential to understand your options as you head into your divorce.

Today, we're covering five ways you can get divorced, so you can choose a method that will work for you. Contact our office online or via phone at (559) 900-1263 to get the help you deserve with your divorce.

Legal Separation Before Divorce

If you're not totally sure you want to end your marriage, legal separation is a great option. It enables you and your spouse to take some time apart and come to a final decision on how you want to proceed.

If you do want to follow through with your divorce, a legal separation allows you to negotiate the terms of your divorce while still technically being married. That means you can make plans for divorce-related processes, like property division, while still paying taxes together and benefiting from marriage-specific plans like joint health insurance.

DIY Divorce

Do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce is becoming increasingly popular. Various DIY divorce services offer couples a cheap form they can fill out and then file with their court clerk to begin divorce proceedings.

DIY divorce is tempting because it allows couples to circumvent the high costs associated with divorce. But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. DIY divorce often over-simplifies the divorce process and doesn't provide divorcees with many (or any) legal protections, which can result in people making decisions they regret later down the line.

Unless you and your partner completely understand the divorce process and totally agree on how to handle your divorce, you shouldn't consider DIY divorce.


Many family law courts require couples to engage in mediation before continuing their divorce in the courtroom. In mediation, a mediator helps both parties compromise on how to handle the divorce.

Mediators cannot give legal advice—to obtain counsel during mediation, you need to hire a dedicated mediation attorney.

If you want a cost-effective, low-stress alternative to an in-court divorce and can engage in good-faith negotiation with your spouse, mediation is a great option. if you and your spouse are estranged or you want a more combative divorce alternative, mediation probably isn't right for you.

Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, both parties hire attorneys. Those attorneys then work with their clients and each other to negotiate terms for the divorce over several sessions.

Collaborative divorce is a great option for people who feel the mediation process is too fast or isn't legally protective enough, but still want to remain on good terms with their spouse. It's the "jack of all trades" of divorce alternatives and often leaves both parties relatively happy, making it one of the most popular ways to dissolve a marriage.

However, like mediation, if you can't engage in good-faith negotiation with your partner, collaborative divorce may not be right for you.


Litigation is the most combative divorce alternative we're covering in this blog. In litigation, attorneys fight for their client's best interests—even if doing so makes the other party unhappy. That makes it more combative than other divorce alternatives like mediation or collaborative divorce, which are focused on helping divorcees develop mutually beneficial terms for their divorce.

If you and your spouse are estranged and you want a legally secure, combative divorce alternative that still costs less than an in-court contested divorce, litigation may be right for you.

At Arnold Law Group, APC, we can help you find the best path forward in your divorce.

To learn more about our firm or schedule a consultation, contact us online or via phone at (559) 900-1263.

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