Collaborative Divorce: Is It Right for You?

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Divorce is ugly, especially when children are involved. In cases where both spouses are amiable and are worried for their children, we recommend a new type of divorce called collaborative divorce. While it seems like an oxymoron at first, it is incredibly effective and much healthier for the family unit than other, more adversarial divorces.

What Is It?

In collaborative divorce, each side agrees to meet together and openly discuss the issues involved. This is usually done in a four-way meeting (each spouse and his or her lawyer). The lawyers agree to settle the divorce without litigation and work with each other instead of against each other. If, for some reason, collaboration is not successful, the spouses have to retain new lawyers for litigation.

When It Works

Due to the nature of collaborative divorce, it only works for couples who trust each other and have respect for one another and their children. This type of divorce requires couples to put aside any hurt, anger, or other issues for the well-being of their families. If there has been any type of abuse or there is a clearly dominant spouse, this type of divorce may not be the right fit.

Collaborative divorce is for couples who want to avoid the pain and expense of court and who want to retain an amiable relationship for the sake of their children. One of the most appealing aspects of this type of divorce is that the decisions affecting the future of the family unit are left to the parents. Judges do not decide who gets what and when and when the children will see which parent. By choosing collaborative divorce, parents, not the state, continue to be the heads of their families.

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