New Year Options For Ending Your Marriage

A white notebook with the words "new year new me" on it in pink

After ringing in the New Year, an increased number of people resolve to take off their wedding rings for good. For many it is a long time in coming, but still they aren't sure what their options are for starting a new year without their spouse. Divorce is a complicated process as is, but that is without even taking into consideration the different ways it can be pursued. When you have decided you want to go through with a divorce, there are several options available. Every couple is unique and therefore, the ways to pursue a divorce are not the same for everyone. Here are three methods with pros and cons for each to help decide which suits your individual situation the best.

1. Mediation

This is where the couple has one neutral mediator to navigate through the divorce. The mediator may or may not be a lawyer, but it is essential to make sure the person is neutral towards both parties and is extremely knowledgeable in family law and divorce. The mediator is not necessarily there to offer advice, but instead is simply there to help come to a conclusion. The couple should still have individual lawyers to work with before the mediation and before signing the final divorce settlement agreement. However, the basis of mediation is working side by side with your spouse to make decisions.


  • Less of a battle leading to a healthier relationship for the divorcees
  • Tends to be more peaceful
  • More positive for children
  • Quick
  • Less expensive
  • Keeps you in control with your divorce and the decision making
  • Is private


  • If no negotiation is reached, you must start all over again with your time and money
  • Results may not be fair or concrete depending on the mediator
  • Results could be challenged, if not drafted appropriately
  • If issues of law exist, it will still go to court and could lead to legal complications
  • Room to hide certain assets exists since it is voluntary disclosure
  • Negative personality characteristics could determine outcome, for example: submissive results with a submissive personality
  • Potential to be hard on emotions

2. Do It Yourself

This method is the least recommended since it is too simple for such an intricate situation. The best couples this would be for are those who have been married for a short period of time and do not have any ties with children or assets together. Couples would also want to be on an even playing field with income and no need for alimony.


  • Quick
  • Inexpensive


  • Easy to make mistakes
  • Often times cannot go back on mistakes

The manner your divorce issues are resolved can have a big impact on your children, family, friends, and your own emotional well-being. An agreed upon resolution can be very helpful to your children who see their parents as being in chronic conflicts and unable as adults to resolve their issues. An agreed upon resolution can also be helpful to couples, allowing them to end their marriage in a more proactive manner to help maintain a relationship so they can continue to meet for celebrations and life events. If you and your spouse are going to continue to live or work in the same community resolving your divorce issues through an agreed upon resolution typically results in fewer emotional wounds to recover from so it will be easier when you run into each other socially.

3. Litigation

Litigation is the most common and sometimes most recommended method of divorce to pursue. It is deemed as the traditional way to go through a divorce but does not necessarily mean you'll end up in court. The majority of litigation cases reach an out-of-court settlement.

Although some other options sound like easier ones on the surface, it needs to be taken into consideration the complications involved in divorce. Both parties in a divorce usually are not in agreement about the reasons to separate much less what a fair settlement looks like. In fact, in the majority of divorces, only one spouse wants to end the marriage. Divorces can get nasty and having the ability to disclose only the amount of information you desire is not always fair to the other person.


  • One way legal issues can be resolved without starting over
  • Good if there are complications between the spouses, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, or finances that could be hidden


  • Can be a longer process
  • Can be more costly
  • Can stir up resentment

To find out which method of divorce is best for your specific situation contact a San Diego divorce lawyer who is a certified family law specialist. Deciding which way to end your marriage can have long-term implications. Taking the time to explore the best avenue for you can save you money, time, and a lot of heartache in the New Year.

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