Some form of negotiation between spouses is probably the most common route couples use to divorce. Negotiation works best when spouses still have some trust and the power balance is nearly equal. This means both spouses know the marital estate.
Divorcing spouses who communicate can exchange relevant and reliable information, and devise creative solutions to various issues that enable both spouses to get what each wants.
When the marriage is volatile, separate lawyers can keep the parties calm, but it puts the lawyers in charge. In this situation the clients give up most of the control, but sometimes this is the only possible alternative to going to trial. Moreover, although the client has less control, he or she still decides the terms of the final agreement.
Spouses who can negotiate face-to-face have more control than when lawyers enter the picture. In fact, lawyers may straight out tell a client to do certain things or to hold out for certain results that he or she may not even want. Be careful here. The client should always remember that a lawyer is his or her employee.
Complicated divorces generally mean more people are involved. An accountant, a business appraiser, a residential real estate appraiser, a vocational evaluator – all may become involved in complicated and contested actions. The greater the number of players, the greater the cost. However, the involvement of experts still costs less than going to court.