The “Kitchen Table” Approach
This approach is as it sounds. Ideally you sit down with your spouse at the kitchen table to try and talk through how to resolve your divorce. The point is that the two of you talking through what the two of you believe is the best way to divide property, share income, and co-parent your children.
The “Kitchen Table” Advantages
- This can be a cost-effective way to work out your divorce issues.
- This method assumes that neither party will hire an attorney.
- This can be a much less stressful way to work through issues if you can sit down with your spouse and have amicable conversations.
- You can move through the process more quickly because you are only limited by your respective schedules and not the court or other professionals’ schedules.
The “Kitchen Table” Disadvantages
- Not every couple can effectively work through contested issues. This method requires cooperation.
- A power disadvantage and/or knowledge imbalance regarding the assets and debts means that one party might be at a disadvantage and not even know it.
- The Court expects you to follow court rules that you may not even know exist.
- Because you do not know what you do not know, the resolution you and your spouse reach could create long term problems for both or one of you.
- Legal documents are complicated and you are required to complete them properly without getting legal advice from the court clerks.
- There may be negative tax consequences to your agreed-upon property division or income-sharing.
- You may miss procedural steps creating significant consequences that get discovered down the road when it is too late or is much more costly to correct.
The Kitchen Table process does not usually involve professional assistance; but California Divorce Lawyer Kathy Campbell wants clients to know all available options before making a final decision about the process you want to use to finalize their divorce.