Divorce can be complicated and overwhelming for any family—even when parties are reasonably amicable about the divorce. One alternative to the traditional court system, “Collaborative Divorce,” is giving couples a new way to resolve their issues without the interference of a court. According to recent reports, couples who divorce through the collaborative process are more likely to follow through on their agreements. Collaborative divorces are generally less costly and the agreements give both parties more freedom to exercise their own options and interests, rather than relying on court orders.
Collaborative law has already been adopted in Alabama and has been most recently welcomed by the state of New Jersey. Collaborative law is an alternative to common divorce litigation or mediation, allowing both parties to sit down together and with independent counsel to work through the details of their divorce. Our Alabamacollaborative divorce attorneys are experienced in representing couples who are seeking a resolution involving division of property, custody, support, and other common divorce issues. The Alabama Collaborative Law process is gaining popularity in helping couples find long-term solutions to meet their family's needs.
When you make a decision to pursue the collaborative process rather than normal mediation or court proceedings, each party will have their own lawyer who can advise them of their rights and articulate a clear legal position throughout the process. The Uniform Collaborative Law Act was established in 2009 and adopted by the Uniform Law Commission. It has been enacted in several states nationwide, including Alabama. The bill gives individual attorneys incentive to resolve disputes through collaboration than pushing cases through to court. It also provides structures necessary to create a collaborative process that helps both parties achieve independence legally, financially, and emotionally.
Though divorce has always been a strain for families, collaborative law sidesteps the often combative court methods and proceedings. When entering the process, both parties must sign a “participation agreement” to remain involved until a settlement is reached. Lawyers involved in the collaboration will often be disqualified in the event that litigation results. As divorces become more frequent, with the current rate of divorce hovering around 50%, it is becoming more important for parties and advocates to seek alternative forms of resolution beyond the traditional court process.
Taking a collaborative approach to divorce gives parties the freedom to work towards their own resolutions rather than relying on a judge to make a decision for them. In the end, many parties will develop a more agreeable solution that is tailored to their family's needs, rather than rely on a judge or jury. Despite the good intentions of both parties who start the collaborative process, some cases will still wind up in court. If issues including property division, custody, and support cannot be worked out through the collaborative process, these parties may end up in another mediation forum or navigating the traditional court system.
Regardless of how you decide to pursue a divorce, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate about your rights. Preventing combative disputes at the outset can also help you keep a clear position, assert your rights, and develop long-term solutions in the best interests of your family.
Contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.