Divorce is one of the most contentious life events anyone will go through.
There are hard feelings, feelings of loss, perhaps betrayal and anger. As a result, many soon-to-be ex-spouses seem to go out of their way to make the process as difficult as possible. This can cost exorbitant sums of money and take its emotional toll on all family members, especially the children.
Collaborative divorce is a way to take the fight, and a lot of the cost, out of separating. In a collaborative divorce, both parties hire specially trained lawyers who work together with their clients under an agreement of confidentiality to reach a settlement that is best for the family. The parties agree not to go to court, except to finalize their divorce, to voluntarily exchange information without written requests, to refrain from using threats of court or threats of any kind and to work together with their attorneys to reach a settlement.
The collaborative divorce movement has become popular, especially with children of divorce who are now divorcing themselves. Many clients tell me they do not want their children to go through decades of bitterness between parents, and that they do not want to spend their life savings dissolving their marriage. Collaborative law has been around for over a decade, but there has been no law setting forth what can or cannot be done in a collaborative divorce case. As a result, some people have felt frustrated by the process, and left with no recourse when collaborative lawyers or clients act in a less than collaborative fashion.
A new bill sponsored by Senator Tom Lee, seeks to protect the collaborative process. The bill, SB 250, creates a uniform system for the collaborative process and the requirements for participating in it. Most importantly, it allows a court to get involved in the collaborative process if one of the parties acts for enforcement of an agreement reached during the collaborative process or asks for instruction from the court. The bill will go a long way towards protecting parties who participate in the collaborative process.
Ending a marriage amicably and civilly may not be easy, but it can happen. Collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial process which helps the parties manage their emotions and work towards a resolution. There are a number of factors to consider before deciding if collaborative divorce is right for you. Barkus Law can provide you with guidance to determine if this your best option.
If you are interested in a consultation or have questions do not hesitate to contact Barkus Law. Simply click here and send us a message and we will get right back to you.