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Collaborative law could lead to a more satisfactory divorce

While a divorce filing may be the result of years of anger, sadness or resentment between two spouses, that doesn't mean a divorce always has to involve a long, drawn-out courtroom battle. In fact, most divorcing spouses in Falls Church probably want to avoid the nightmare scenario of a divorce that drags on for months, draining each spouse emotionally and financially and ultimately leading to a result that neither spouse is satisfied with.

One way to avoid such drama and to have more control over the outcome of one's divorce is through the use of collaborative law. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse along with their attorneys will voluntarily agree in writing to resolve their divorce issues through out-of-court negotiations. Should these negotiations fail, and the matter is sent before the court, then the spouses' attorneys will need to recuse themselves from the case, and the spouses will need to find new attorneys. This provides an incentive for all involved to make the collaborative divorce process work.

Collaborative divorce allows a divorcing couple a way to identify their common goals in a way that reduces the amount of conflict they have. Couples are free to reach creative solutions that meet their unique needs. This may make the outcome of their divorce fairer, and lead to a more satisfactory result.

However, collaborative divorce is not appropriate in all situations. For example, if domestic abuse is an issue, then collaborative divorce may not be the best way for a couple to resolve their divorce. This is because a collaborative divorce requires open and honest communication, which could be difficult if one spouse is abusive and the other spouse is afraid to assert themselves.

Collaborative divorce has its benefits, especially if a couple has children. Rather than treating each other as adversaries, spouses will cooperate to reach a divorce settlement. Because spouses going through a collaborative divorce have a greater say in the outcome of their divorce, both spouses may walk away from the courtroom feeling satisfied with the final divorce decree.

Source: The Durango Herald, "Kofoed: Resolving disputes with collaborative family law," Curtis Kofoed, April 14, 2018

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