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How can different divorce options help divorcing couples?

You may have heard more these days about mediation as it relates to divorce and you may have also heard of collaborative divorce but wondered what it is. Collaborative divorce allows divorcing couples to resolve disputes by reaching agreements with trained professionals that can help guide them through the divorce process. The collaborative divorce process also allows divorcing couples to work together to make divorce-related decisions for themselves based on what is best for their family -- which they are in the best position to discern. Collaborative divorce in California is a process that can be utilized in marriage and domestic partnership dissolutions.

The collaborative divorce process recognizes that divorcing spouses may likely have an ongoing relationship following the divorce. Reaching resolutions that are mutually agreeable will help preserve aspects of the continuing relationship so that the divorcing couple can work together in the future to co-parent or whatever the case may be. The parties commit themselves to the process and to proceeding in good faith and with respect as information is collected and utilized to reach workable agreements between the divorcing couple. 

Various professionals are involved to help the couple throughout the process and can include communications experts, child specialists and financial and other specialists to build a team to support the divorcing couple as they work to reach agreements concerning divorce-related issues and when disputes arise. Shared information is confidential and is not used in court if the parties abandon the collaborative divorce process. In the event it is abandoned, representatives for the couple also withdraw because all parties provide their commitment to the collaborative divorce process at the outset.

With the help of the collaborative divorce process, settlement agreements can be reached that avoid acrimony and reflect the wishes of the divorcing couple based on shared agreements. Overall, collaborative divorce is an option that allows divorcing couples to reach resolutions both parties can live with and preserves a working relationship as they may need to address different concerns in the future.

Source: Collaborative Practice California, “About Collaborative Practice,” Accessed May 15, 2016 

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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