We live in a dynamic society, where parents may encounter changes in their income, job schedules. Accordingly, family law advocacy must take a long-term view to the parties’ lives during times of transition. An approach that provides flexibility, such as a mechanism for resolving disputes or adapting to conditions that may arise after the divorce has been finalized, will often yield more stable results.
A Flexible Approach to Divorce
This spirit of flexibility informs our collaborative divorce practice. We recognize that parties can save time and money through collaborative law negotiations or mediation. In fact, these options encourage the parties to cooperate, a particularly helpful approach for parents who will continue having contact with each other regarding shared custody of their minor children.
One misconception about collaborative law approaches is that the parties are forced to compromise, possibly accepting arrangements that are less favorable than could be achieved in litigation. To the contrary, the attorneys are present in both divorce mediation and in collaborative law negotiations. If a proposal is not in your best interest, it is your attorney’s responsibility to advise you of this.
Setting Realistic Expectations
In fact, these options are often an opportunity for both parties to establish realistic expectations. The attorneys on each side will know the applicable law. If one party is being unreasonable and simply wants to have a courtroom battle, this quickly becomes evidence. Fortunately, the other party always has the option to withdraw from a collaborative law process and utilize litigation. But if both parties are truly interested in a cost-effective and timely divorce, then reaching a settlement without the court’s involvement is recommended.
Source: FindLaw, “How Collaborative Divorce Works: FAQs,” copyright 2019, Thomson Reuters