Contrary to what most believe, divorce doesn’t have to be a battle. While most people hear the word divorce and instantly imagine a couple battling it out in a courtroom, there are alternative methods to handling a divorce that are not nearly so dramatic or heart-wrenching.
The Collaborative Process fits particularly well with many family law matters, including divorce, custody and support matters. In fact, a collaborative divorce can help prevent an extensive legal battle between a divorcing couple, potentially saving both parties time and money.
Using Collaborative Law To Reach an Amicable Settlement
The Collaborative Process is built on the concept that it is better for the divorcing couple to be in control of their own destiny, rather than put major life decisions (e.g. dividing marital property, paying support or custody of minor children) in the hands of a judge or other court-appointed official who are virtual strangers to the couple.
In addition, the Collaborative Process allows a couple to handle the dissolution of their marriage in private rather than having details of their life spelled out in pleadings and documents filed with the court and accessible by the public.
The process of Collaborative Law is very different than traditional litigation. Instead of taking adversarial positions against one another, couples reach an agreement through interest and need-based negotiations.
This means that if, for example, one party desires to maintain the marital home in the divorce settlement, negotiation begins with identifying why the family home is important to them. This helps move the discussion from getting as much as possible, to considering the needs and feelings of each party.
Negotiations continue with an emphasis on identifying areas of agreement and compromise. In this way, the parties are able to reach a mutually beneficial settlement agreement on all issues that is respectful of both parties and takes each party’s needs into account.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to be thinking of your spouse’s needs during a divorce or custody dispute, a little courtesy often goes a long way in coming up with beneficial settlement solutions.
How It Works
In order for the Collaborative Process to work, both parties must agree to work within its guidelines. In addition, each party should retain a lawyer who practices Collaborative Law.
The attorneys at Daley Zucker have extensive experience in the practice of Collaborative Law. To learn more about the Collaborative Law process, Attorney Susan E. Good welcomes the opportunity to talk with you about the process and help you decide if it’s right for you.
Family Law Practice Areas
Protecting yourself and your family starts with the right family law attorney. From drafting prenuptial agreements to helping you navigate the complexities of child custody, support or divorce, our attorneys are ready to help with practical solutions that lead to real results.