Although the divorce rate in this country continues to hover around 50 percent of all marriages, it is still a rather tumultuous time in a person's life. In fact, it can be one of the most emotionally difficult and financially draining episodes of a person's life, but it doesn't have to be. Consider a collaborative divorce, the process in which two attorneys work together with the divorcing spouses to develop an equitable and fair divorce agreement.
In collaborative law, each party maintains control over the final outcome of the negotiations, unlike a court of law where the judge decides the final outcome. With collaborative law both sides get to decide on the important decisions surrounding the upbringing of your children and can work together to develop a co-parenting plan and child custody agreement that works for both parties now and well into the future.
Using a collaborative approach to family law issues allows a family to work through the conflict to reach an effective and well-structured divorce settlement. A courtroom has the tendency to become an adversarial environment that can intensify a conflict rather than provide a mutually satisfactory solution to them. Using this approach both parties agree to avoid court so they can have an honest and open exchange of ideas and information and reach an agreement quicker and with less money paid to their divorce lawyers.
The process you choose to legally end your marriage will have a dramatic impact on your future relationship with your ex-spouse as well as your children in terms of the emotional toll a divorce will have on a family. Collaborative law allows couples to manage their emotions and demonstrate a positive conflict resolution approach to problem solving to your children. In the long run this approach can preserve relationships and help a family restructure their new lives in a positive and constructive way for years after the divorce.
Source: South Delta Leader, "Legally speaking: Happier endings," Deirdre Severide, June 1, 2012