We often see in the movies, hear stories or maybe even experience the horrible fights over assets and custody that can ensue when a marriage ends. But that is not the reality behind every divorce or marital dissolution case. Some proceedings are civil, if not straight out cordial.
In recent years there has been a growing trend to use the collaborative process in family law litigation. The collaborative process is a way to resolve disputes of all kinds in a private and confidential manner. The process is usually led by a team consisting of each party’s attorney(s), a neutral financial professional and a neutral mental health professional. It is often a better alternative to litigation for all parties involved as it is a less stressful and more cost effective way to resolve a dispute.
The collaborative process maintains open communication and information sharing among parties, and allows for the negotiation of a mutually acceptable resolutions without having courts or arbitrators decide issues. The collaborative divorce approach can be especially helpful for families with children as it can preserve some of the dignity of the spousal relationship so that they can focus on positive parenting in the future without going to court.
This helpful chart from International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) highlights the differences between using a collaborative process and litigating a dispute.
Working as an independent financial professional through all types of resolution proceedings, we often see healthier resolutions and less contentious proceedings when parties are willing to work together to settle the marital dissolution.