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3 ways that couples can settle their divorce outside of court

October 27, 2021 | Divorce, Firm News

For many couples in the Boulder area, divorce will be both stressful and expensive. However, it does not necessarily have to be either of those things.

A couple considering the dissolution of their marriage ultimately has control over how much conflict that process involves. Litigated divorces do still occur and are an option for couples unable to see eye-to-eye on property division matters or parenting plans.

However, many couples choose to resolve matters outside of court. What are the most common systems used to divorce with less conflict?

Collaborative law

Unlike litigation, which pits divorcing spouses against each other as opponents, collaborative law requires that they work together like a team.

In collaborative divorce proceedings, the spouses may negotiate directly with one another or through their attorneys to resolve disputes about support and how they divide their property. By working together, spouses using the collaborative approach can potentially regain a positive or at least neutral relationship with one another.


You may realize that you want to settle out of court but still disagree with your ex about certain terms. If you struggle to communicate with one another effectively because of the conflict of the divorce, collaboration can team too difficult to pursue.

Mediation might be an option for couples in this scenario. In addition to your attorneys, mediation involves a neutral third party who can help the spouses and their attorneys work out a settlement where everyone compromises a little bit but is ultimately happy with the results.


Most people associate arbitration with contract disputes, as many big businesses require their clients or employees to undergo arbitration. However, arbitration can be useful in a family law setting as well.

Like mediation, arbitration involves working with a neutral professional.

Rather than trying to facilitate discussions and compromise, an arbitrator reviews both sides of the situation and then constructs what they think would be an appropriate solution. In many ways, arbitration is much like litigation, with the arbitrator filling a similar role to a judge’s. The key difference is that the couple still has the opportunity to make changes to the suggested settlement.

Trying to minimize conflict in an upcoming divorce may require that you bring in professional help to resolve your dispute, but that decision may ultimately lead to a faster and more amicable divorce.

Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC is now Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC, with three offices in Boulder, Denver and Steamboat Springs. Learn More