Washington law generally allows you to end your marriage for any reason. However, there are many different paths that you might take to accomplish that goal. For instance, you may choose to engage in private talks or head to court to settle property division, child custody and other issues. There are several variables that you’re encouraged to consider before deciding how to obtain a divorce.
Try to stay out of court if you have kids
If you have children, it may be best to settle your divorce through mediation or through private talks. Doing so may prevent your kids from learning about the structure of your final settlement or from having to participate in the proceedings. Furthermore, opting to stay out of court may provide you with an opportunity to end your relationship in an amicable fashion. This may make it easier to parent your children while negotiations are ongoing as well as after they come to a conclusion.
Mediation may be less expensive
The cost of litigation may be another reason why you might want to opt for mediation instead. Legal fees, court costs and other expenses can easily climb into the thousands of dollars even if your case is relatively straightforward. In addition to saving money, you may also save a significant amount of time by keeping your case out of court.
When litigation may be necessary
Litigation may be your only option if your spouse doesn’t negotiate in good faith or if you don’t feel comfortable talking to your spouse. It may also be necessary if you believe that the terms of a prenuptial agreement are blatantly unfair or cannot be enforced. Of course, there is no guarantee that a judge will agree with your position or otherwise rule in your favor.
A divorce may have a significant impact on your mental, physical and financial health. Therefore, it’s important to pursue a settlement that meets your needs both now and in the future. You may be entitled to alimony, child support payments or other resources from your former spouse.