All too many families have been stretched to the breaking point, both emotionally and financially, as result of the ongoing pandemic. While the number of couples seeking a divorce has increased, the court’s ability to move divorce and family law cases through the legal system has decreased. As a result, many couples who have chosen to pursue the traditional court route for getting divorce find themselves stuck in limbo and extremely frustrated wondering when they will ever have closure. The good news – there are options for staying out of court, saving money and getting your divorce done!  Here are three alternatives that you and your spouse might consider.

  • The Back of the Napkin. The simplest, quickest and least costly way to getting divorced is for you and your spouse to sit down and hammer out an agreement. An agreement scribbled on a piece of paper, or the back of a napkin, would not be enforceable in court. However, if the two of you can reach an agreement on all of the issues by talking it out, a lawyer can draft a legally enforceable agreement for you both to sign, and then prepare the paperwork necessary for an uncontested divorce, without either of you having to appear in court.


  • Collaborative Divorce. This is a relatively new way for people to get divorced. The term “collaborative divorce” may sound contradictory. It doesn’t mean that you and your spouse need to be best buddies to get divorced using this process. You just need to agree that you want a peaceful divorce, to stay out of court, and to follow the collaborative process .  Collaborative divorce is a process in which both parties and their respective attorneys contractually agree to settle the issues in the divorce without getting the court involved. The two of you and your respective lawyers meet together in a series of meetings to work through and come to an agreement on all of the issues that need to be settled for you to get divorced. It is important to note that to pursue a collaborative divorce, both parties must hire a collaboratively trained lawyer.  Click here to find a professional in the CNY area.   This approach to divorce focuses on each spouse’s needs and wants and finding creative, mutually agreeable solutions to settle the divorce.  If you choose the collaborative process you are not at the mercy of the court’s schedule or the decisions of a judge.  Instead of letting a judge decide your what happens in your case, including the division of  your property and debt, and the fate of  your children, in a collaborative divorce you control the outcome and how long it takes to get there.


  • Divorce Mediation. Mediation, like collaborative divorce, is a cooperative process in which the two of you work together, with the assistance of a neutral mediator, to reach a resolution and an final agreement. One key difference between mediation and collaborative divorce is that in divorce mediation, the two parties usually do not bring lawyers to the meetings with the mediator. However, you will each need legal advice and knowledge of what the court would decide in your situation. The mediator must remain neutral and cannot give either of you that advice. Therefore, if you chose mediation, each of you will be advised by the mediator to separately consult a lawyer to give you legal advice, and advice about what might happen in court. It is a good idea for you to get legal advice (1) prior to negotiating your divorce agreement, and (2) after the agreement has been reached, but before you sign your agreement.

Any of these three options for getting divorced will keep you out of the court system and get you divorced more quickly. As an added bonus, your divorce will be private, no one but you and your attorneys will know your business. Best of all, your divorce will be peaceful and without the fighting that often goes along with divorce court.

With all three options, both spouses must agree to stay out of court.  Both spouses must also agree on process they will follow.  In other words, if your spouse will not agree to follow one of these paths, you will have no choice but to go through the court system to get divorced.

I am trained and experience in all of these and can get your divorce done without going to court. Give me a call to discuss your options.  (315) 216-0176.


Lisa DiPoala Haber, Esq. Can Help You Divorce Through The Collaborative Law Process

There are options to pursuing your separation and/or divorce that are less destructive than the more familiar court process. One of them is Collaborative Law.

Keeping Your Family Out of Court and Minimizing Adversity

The essence of Collaborative Law is the shared belief of the two divorcing spouses that it is in their best  and of their family to resolve their differences with minimal conflict.  In the Collaborative Law process both parties and their respective collaboratively trained attorneys work together in a series of meetings to settle the issues necessary to resolve their separation and divorce.  Syracuse lawyer Lisa DiPoala Haber, Esq. is trained and prepared to help you protect what is most important to you and to get divorced using the Collaborative process.  Collaboration is accepted world-wide as an effective alternative to litigation for couples preferring to resolve issues of separation and divorce without going to court.

Benefits of Choosing the Collaborative Law:

  • privacy
  • the parties control the outcome of their divorce
  • preserves and protects your family and your financial resources
  • the Collaborative Law process takes less time and saves money


Control Your Outcome in Your Divorce

In the Collaborative Law process the parties agree to pursue a conflict resolution process that does not rely upon a court-imposed determination. The process relies instead on an atmosphere of complete honesty, cooperation, integrity, and utmost professionalism. As participants in the Collaborative process, the parties and their attorneys value protecting the privacy and dignity of all involved. When choosing the Collaborative Law process to resolve your separation and divorce you work for what you believe is the most constructive and acceptable agreement for both you and your family.

Lisa DiPoala Haber, Esq. Will Guide Your Through

Lisa DiPoala Haber is trained in the Collaborative Law process. She is also a member of the CNY Collaborative Law Professionals and has formed important relationships with her colleagues in the field to effectively help guide you through divorce using the Collaborative process.  If you and your spouse agree to pursuing the Collaborative Law process, Lisa will provide you a list of the CNY Collaborative Law Professionals with contact information. In addition, if you have questions about the process, she would be happy to discuss them with you by phone.

Call Lisa DiPoala Haber, Esq. at (315) 426-1648.