Kalispell Divorce OptionsMarybeth Sampsel
For those considering divorce in the Kalispell, Montana area there are a number of options you should consider in how to proceed. Although typically people think of hiring a lawyer and going to court in order to get a divorce, our system in Montana provides less confrontational options that are quicker and less expensive. Which option is best for you is a decision that needs to be based on an individual assessment of your situation. Remember, even if you ultimately decide not to hire an attorney, most will still have a consultation with you at an affordable rate. This may be the best way to determine which option is best for you.
Kalispell Divorce Attorney
A Kalispell divorce attorney can be very involved in your case or only provide some legal advice and guidance. One option is to hire the attorney to represent you in your divorce. From that time on, they will be responsible for communicating with your spouse’s attorney, drawing up the relevant paperwork, and advising you on the best course of action. This can take a great deal of stress off of people and enable them to focus on their daily lives instead of being bogged down in the minutia of the divorce process. An attorney may represent you all the way to a trial, but as I’ve discussed before I think the best possible outcome in family law cases is usually reached through an agreement between the parties. This usually takes the form of a settlement conference, mediation, or simply discussions between the parties. The benefit of having a divorce attorney at your side in these type of negotiations is that he can advise you on Montana divorce law and help protect your best interests under the law.
As I mentioned earlier, you can also hire a divorce attorney in a more limited manner. Often, this takes the form of a consultation where you schedule an appointment with an attorney, discuss the specifics of your situation, and receive legal advice tailored to you. A word of warning: when scheduling this type of an appointment, make sure that the attorney is willing to give advice if you do not ultimately retain him. Some attorneys see a consult simply as a way to sign up new clients, and are less cooperative when that is not going to happen.
Mediation and Settlement Conferences in the Kalispell Area
Another option is for you and your spouse to meet with a mediator. There are many excellent options in the Flathead Valley and I would be happy to provide a recommendation if you are interested. In Mediation, a neutral third party attempts to craft an agreement between you and your spouse. Because most of our local mediators are also attorneys, they can then help you prepare the proper documents for filing with the court. You could use a mediator without the aid of an attorney, or with one – the choice is yours.
Settlement conferences are an excellent way to settle cases, and generally come about between two parties represented by divorce attorneys. Where a mediation is an effort to bring the parties to an agreement, a settlement conference is much more about an assessment of each parties’ chances at court of getting what they want. It usually involves an experienced Kalispell divorce attorney who is familiar with the local courts and our judges and can give an accurate assessment of your chances.
Self Help Divorce in Kalispell
A final option is to use our self-help law library here in Kalispell to get the proper forms and fill them out yourselves. Generally, this option only works between spouses who are still able to communicate well and have a very civil relationship. This option also has a number of options in terms of how involved other people may be. You could hire an attorney for a consult prior to beginning the process, to get a better idea of what the results should be. You could also hire a mediator to help settle the one issue that the two of you don’t seem to be able to work out. Either way, this is generally the least expensive option – but also the most difficult to successfully complete. While you may think that the two of you can agree on everything, when it actually comes down to dividing the China, things may look a little differently.