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What is the collaborative divorce process?

114074844_S.jpgIt can be challenging to go through the ending of a marriage. Those individuals who are going through a divorce may feel uneasy airing their grievances in court. This is understandable given the fact that very personal details of each party's life may be exposed in open court so that a judge, who knows nothing about the family other than what is presented to him or her in court, can make important divorce decisions that may reshape both individuals' lives. Those who are deterred by this process may want to consider other options that are available to them.

Collaborative divorce is one of those options. As its name implies, this type of divorce relies on the parties to work together to resolve the divorce legal issues confronting them, whether they be regarding property division, alimony, child custody or child support. In most cases, both parties obtain their own attorney and then sit down together to hash out these issues. Unlike divorce mediation, there is no third-party in the room to help spur negotiations. Therefore, it is really up to the parties and their attorneys to be open, honest and somewhat flexible in their talks.

Other individuals may be brought into the discussions, too, if warranted. For example, a divorce coach or counselor may be able to help the parties deal with the emotions they face as they try to dissolve their marriage. Accountants and other experts may be beneficial, too, especially when assets need to be valued and numbers need to be crunched. In the end, anybody can be looped into the conversation by agreement of the parties, but those involved in this process should be sure that those extra voices in the room are contributing to the end goal of the settlement negotiations.

Collaborative divorce can be extremely effective. It can save individuals time and money, but they need to be prepared to have an open dialogue with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. They have to be willing to sit in the same room and talk about challenging topics. Although those individuals who pursue this process are supported by competent legal representation and other experts, they may want to discuss the realities of this process first so that they can make a fully informed decision that meets and furthers their best interests.

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