Collaborative divorce: not for all, but a good mechanism for some

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Divorce on Thursday, May 29, 2014.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques might not work as well as traditional litigation in every case, but it’s nice to know they’re available as options.

For persons unfamiliar with the language, ADR essentially encompasses legal processes that stand in contrast to traditionally litigated matters. In family law, what readily comes to the forefront are divorce mediation and collaborative divorce.

The emphasis on these resolution processes is more on civility than on adversarialism as soon-to-be exes try to reach agreement on important divorce matters. Parties rather than judges are empowered to make decisions; in fact, there is no judge. Empathy and shared decision making are stressed, and the role of lawyers is more focused on helping the parties identify issues and work through them reasonably than on unilaterally arguing hard for one litigant.

Proponents of collaborative and mediated divorce often point to lowered divorce costs, better outcomes for kids, less emotional turmoil for participating parties both during the process and post-divorce and a host of other beneficial factors that trump the results seen through litigation.

That can certainly be true, of course, especially for couples comparatively inclined to be civil to each in the first place and seeking to end their marriage with dignity rather than rancor. Often, too, ADR-driven divorces are pursued by couples who envision an enduring relationship — often for the sake of the kids — existing for many years following marital dissolution.

Select attorneys have in-depth litigation experience in family law matters while also being licensed collaborative divorce attorneys and/or trained mediators.

Many couples in Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere unquestionably benefit greatly by choosing to divorce with the involvement of collaborative law attorneys or through a mediated process. Doing so avoids recourse to a courtroom and a rigidly formal environment where a judge makes critically important decisions.

A divorce mediation and collaborative law attorney can answer questions regarding these divorce processes and help a client determine what makes most sense in a given case.

Source: CNBC, “Collaborative divorce can ease emotional, economic stress,” Deborah Nason, May 2, 2014

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