IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR AN ALTERNATIVE TO DIVORCE AS USUAL, YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

ciacp_childrenThe end of a marriage or relationship can be tragic enough. Often, the process of divorcing only adds to the pain. You and your spouse may come to see each other as adversaries and the divorce as a battleground. You may experience feelings of confusion, anger, loss and conflict. Under such circumstances, you might find it difficult to see an end to divorce, much less imagine a hopeful future.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. A growing number of parting couples, along with other professionals such as lawyers, mental health professionals and financial consultants, have been seeking a more constructive alternative. These professionals have developed the Collaborative Law Practice model.

Collaborative Law Practice is a reasonable approach to divorce based on three principles:

  • A pledge not to go to court
  • An honest exchange of information by both spouses
  • A solution that takes into account the highest priorities of both spouses and their children

Mutual respect is fundamental to the collaborative way. You may cease being spouses, but you don’t cease being worthy human beings. When respect is given and received, discussions are likely to be more productive and an agreement reached more easily.

A PLEDGE TO COLLABORATE

The key difference between Collaborative Law Practice and conventional divorce is the pledge to reach an agreement without going to court. You and your spouse keep control of the decisions yourselves, rather than giving them up to a judge. All of the parties consent in writing to be part of a respectful process that leads to an out-of-court resolution. With Collaborative Law Practice, the goal is to develop effective relationships, solve problems jointly, and prevent a court battle.

OPEN COMMUNICATION

Even under the best of circumstances, communication can be strained as a relationship is ending. Yet keeping the lines of communication open is essential for reaching an agreement. Collaborative Law Practice provides for face-to-face meetings with you, your spouse and your respective lawyers and other advisers as needed. These sessions are intended to produce an honest exchange of information and expression of needs and expectations. When the issues are openly discussed, problem solving can be direct and solutions-oriented.

AN AGREEMENT EVERYONE CAN LIVE WITH

If you’ve reached a decision about divorce, you may be reassured to know that Collaborative Law Practice focuses on attaining resolution. The collaborative model is designed to protect the interests of children and help you and your spouse move forward. The collaborative process emphasizes cooperating to find solutions. And instead of being an endless airing of grievances, Collaborative Law Practice encourages spouses to reach a workable settlement by building on areas of mutual agreement.

A FOCUS ON THE FUTURE

Divorce ends a marriage but need not sever family ties or relationships. When children are involved, lifelong responsibilities remain. By preserving respect and encouraging cooperation, Collaborative Law Practice helps parents and children keep family bonds while embracing new lives. Divorce will always remain a significant life event. In the face of it, Collaborative Law Practice can lead you and your families to a compassionate ending and a healthy new beginning.

SUPPORT WHEN YOU NEED IT THE MOST

Divorce usually involves many considerations, from concern for children to financial questions to property matters. Along with handling the overall emotional impact, managing by yourself can be difficult. For that reason, Collaborative Law Practice offers you a supportive approach. You and your lawyer work as a team. Other professionals–including mental health professionals, child specialists, and financial consultants–can become part of your team, helping find constructive solutions to deal with divorce’s wide-ranging issues and to establish goals for the future.