Alternative Methods of Divorce in New York

Couples going through a divorce often want to do so outside of a courtroom to avoid litigation. Because of this, there are alternative methods to divorce available to couples that do not require a trial. While it is not always possible for all couples, some are able to come to agreements without the assistance of a judge. These alternatives allow couples the opportunity to reach conclusions regarding their marital issues on their own through peaceful discussions. These discussions pertain to issues such as child support, child custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

Mediated Divorce

A commonly alternative method of divorce that is used is the process of mediation. During mediation, spouses come together to negotiate the terms of their divorce and how they wish to arrange their marital issues. Mediation exists place with the assistance of an unbiased third party. This third party is there to mediate any disagreements and guide the spouses towards solutions that are in their best interest.

Once a couple concludes this process and makes their decisions, the mediator drafts an agreement for them to sign. This document is presented to the court for review. If the court agrees with the couple’s arrangements, they may be granted a Judgement of Divorce.

It is important to know there is no set duration for mediation. There are no time constraints put upon the spouses to meet a deadline and it can last for as long as a couple needs to settle upon an agreement. This allows them to take their time figuring out the matters at hand.

Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce consists of a series of four-way meetings. This gives spouses the opportunity to communicate with one another and settle their marital issues. These meetings are different than mediation, as the negotiations are guided by the spouses’ attorneys instead. They help guide the spouses to amicable decisions.

Collaborative divorces are supported by a Participation Agreement. This is a document signed by both spouses and their attorneys, detailing each individual’s obligations during the process. It requires them to put in the necessary effort to make the process work. When this is signed by the attorneys, it prevents them from representing their clients if the process does not work. This also holds them responsible for putting in the effort to ensure the success of their clients.


Another option for divorce outside of litigation is arbitration. Similar to mediation, this process also requires the assistance of a third party. However, unlike mediation, this third party acts as a judge during the proceedings. They are able to make all of the necessary final decisions regarding the couple’s marital issues.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, contact The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.