We wanted to take the time to discuss collaborative law because so few people know about it. Before we dive in, you should know an attorney’s mindset and approach influences the way they practice. For instance, on the Akiona Law Podcast, our guest told us a story about how his wife’s attorney served him divorce papers right before his first semester’s finals in law school. Was that deliberate? Very likely. Did it have to be done that way? Absolutely not.
Some attorneys genuinely want to make their clients’ lives better. Deliberately provoking or upsetting your former spouse is a short-sighted act. Although those things won’t guarantee your divorce ends up in litigation, it certainly doesn’t help to prevent it. Litigation is a stressful and overwhelming process for everyone involved. It is expensive and time-consuming, and you may walk away feeling like you lost.
The Upside of Collaborative Divorce
There are more issues to deal with in a divorce beyond legal ones. Many divorced parents will share custody, and they will have to build and nurture their new relationship as co-parents. “Winning” in court doesn’t mean that all your issues suddenly go away. Collaborative divorce brings in various professionals who are driven to find a resolution. In a collaborative divorce, the meetings are guided by a “divorce coach” (example, licensed mental health professional or collaboratively trained lawyer) with both people and their attorneys present.
During a collaborative divorce, your professional team may include a divorce coach, a financial neutral, and a child specialist. They are not there to diagnose or evaluate your or your spouse. Their role is to facilitate communication and to help both sides see what is truly important. Rather than making decisions in the “heat of the moment,” you are making deliberate and conscious choices that will impact the rest of your family’s life.
When you and your spouse enter into a collaborative divorce, both attorneys and parties sign an agreement that they will not go to court. Removing the threat of litigation forces both sides to work toward together and compromise. By working together, you are preserving a relationship with your former spouse and perhaps their friends and family. More importantly, eliminating the stress and conflict that comes with litigation prevents the negative fallout on the children. Attorneys who practice collaborative divorce work together to figure out the “why.” For instance, why is it so important to one parent that they are designated the custodial or primary residential parent?
- Is it based on the fear of not being in their child’s life?
- Are they concerned about how the other parent will raise the child?
By taking the time to understand the root cause of the issue, you can work with your collaboratively trained team toward finding a long lasting solution.
Choose the Right Collaborative Law Attorney For You & Your Family
If you’re looking for a more peaceful and cooperative way to get divorced, the team at Akiona Law, PLLC can lead you through the collaborative divorce process. Contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help resolve your family law issue.