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David’s Divorce Dictionary: H is for Hamilton

Definition: a smash hit Broadway show that proves fighting for emotional justice is most often a fool’s errand.

  • Hamilton: I’m not throwing away my shot. No! I’m not throwing away my shot!
  • Kellem: Your best shot at a livable divorce outcome is by negotiation and settlement.
  • Hamilton: But I have been insulted and my legacy tarnished!
  • Kellem: You can go to New Jersey to duel with Burr. But someone is going to get hurt badly and permanently. Probably both of you.
  • Chorus: So Kellem, please tell ‘em – what’s Ham’s best shot in his divorce?
  • Kellem: Mediation, Collaboration, Negotiation, Arbitration!
  • Chorus: Explanation?

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a private, confidential, voluntary process in which divorcing spouses work together, under the guidance of a trained, impartial divorce professional, the Mediator. With the help of a Mediator, each person makes informed, customized, well-considered decisions about their divorce settlement.

What Is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative law is a private, confidential, structured process in which divorcing spouses work together with collaboratively-trained attorneys, a divorce coach/settlement facilitator, and neutral financial professionals to develop a customized divorce settlement.

What Is Negotiation?

Represented negotiation is hiring an attorney to settle your case, rather than fight your case in court. Here, the methodology and process of negotiation is determined by the practice of your attorney; cases are often resolved through “four-way meetings.”

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is private court; Parties pay a professional arbitrator to review their case and make a binding (or non-binding if preferred) decision on the outcome in order to resolve a divorce case quickly, confidentially, and with a minimization of litigation costs.

What’s The Takeaway?

When seeking a divorce outcome that you can live with, try to stay out of court and work out your deal with professional guidance through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). And if the going is getting really tough and you need a temporary escape from reality—go see a show! (You may not be able to afford tickets to Hamilton while going through a divorce, but any musical will help).

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding my upcoming blog articles, please feel free to contact me.

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