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Collaborative divorce helps couples plan an amicable parting

Collaborative divorce helps couples plan an amicable parting

For many couples, getting a divorce can be a process filled with conflict and confusion, and it can be an adversarial experience too. However, the concept of collaborative law, which is catching on in Illinois and across the nation, provides divorcing couples with the tools they need to work together towards a separate but amicable future.

In the traditional divorce process, each spouse hires a lawyer to help them fight for a divorce settlement that is beneficial for them, and in some cases, detrimental to their spouse. Although the collaborative divorce process still utilizes an attorney to represent each party's interests, the primary difference is that the spouses and their attorneys work together to craft a settlement that all parties can be satisfied with. This innovative approach to divorce can often results in a less acrimonious process, which can be important for couples who will continue to parent their children together in the future.

In addition to a collaborative divorce, another option available to couples who are interested in finding a less stressful way to end their marriage is divorce mediation. While mediation is similar to the collaborative divorce process, it also brings in outside experts such as counselors or financial planners as well as attorneys to help couples successfully negotiate some of the more contentious areas in divorce like child custody and alimony.

Couples who are planning to dissolve their marriage are often overwhelmed by the tremendous number of changes they will face as they enter a new phase of their lives. Attorneys who work with divorcing couples dealing with custody and visitation issues may help their clients to find solutions to some of the normally contentious issues presented by divorce.

Source: Seattle Times, "Couples can divorce without drama: Beyond the hurt, anger and fear", Susan Kelleher, September 02, 2013

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