Recently, a couple in the midst of a divorce were planning the terms. They agreed on almost everything except for one issue: Thanksgiving.
As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, it seemed like a minor problem, but to both of them, it was a big holiday – and a major deal. Still, it seemed somewhat nonsensical to go to court over this matter. So the pair chose a collaborative approach.
Our Alabama collaborative divorce attorneysknow that this is an option that often works best for couples who have issues they need to resolve, but don't want a drawn-out, bitter court battle.
It's not that all divorces that land in court have to be contentious. However, the court system in general is adversarial. Collaborative divorce is another option, and it can be an especially attractive one to couples who don't want to be enemies in the end.
It's not for everyone. It's a process that will require you to work together. If the mere thought of that revolts you (and you wouldn't be alone in that feeling) or there are a lot of issues over which you firmly disagree, you probably need to seek a more traditional route to splitting up.
Collaborative divorce is an option that's been around since 1990, but it's really only caught on in Alabama in the last five years or so. It's been an option here for some time, but now there are people who actively seek it out – and we see that as a positive thing.
Engaging in the collaborative process requires both individuals to be upfront. They are going to have to be open in their exchange of information and they need to maintain an attitude of working together. A successful collaborative divorce won't happen unless both parties are fully willing to cooperate.
One of the greatest benefits we have seen borne of the process is that couples who choose a collaborative approach seem to remain on friendlier terms than those who end up in litigation. This can be especially critical for couples with small children because you are going to have to continue to work together, at least on some level, for many more years to come. A collaborative approach to separation and divorce allows you to establish an effective pattern of communication within the boundaries of the relationship as it is newly-defined.
Many times, the collaborative approach is one that involves several disciplines. Because we want to ensure that all needs are met and no one is being short-changed, we often involve tax and business consultants, mental health professionals and financial advisers – all of whom are trained in the collaborative divorce process.
The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals released a survey in 2010 that revealed 90 percent of cases that started out in the collaborative process were successfully resolved there, and three-quarters of those who had gone through it would recommend it. More than 80 percent of those had children and about half had estates that were valued over $500,000.
Collaborative divorce doesn't mean you give up your stake. It's simply a way for you to reach a conclusion more amicably, and gives you more control than the mediation process.
If this is something in which you might be interested, contact our offices today.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.
Collaborative divorce avoids going to court to settle differences, Oct. 7, 2013, By Kim Lyons, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette