Should I Choose A Traditional Divorce Process or the Collaborative Law Process?

The end of a marriage is a difficult time. It’s often filled with fighting, chaos, and uncertainty. Many decisions must be made including property divisions and custody arrangements. Before any of these decisions can be discussed, you and your spouse must decide what divorce process to pursue, the traditional divorce process or the collaborative law process.

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The traditional process, where each spouse hires a lawyer to work out details, may only cause more turmoil to the already sensitive situation.  Some of these cases end up in court causing more stress and conflict.

Many couples are turning to collaborative law to work through the process. Here, each spouse hires an attorney, but everyone agrees to stay out of court and resolve issues through respectful and effective negotiation. While there are many benefits to this process, two key benefits include:

  • Control – The collaborative law process provides you with control over how decisions are made, opposed to an alternative possible scenario where a judge is responsible for the decisions. You and your spouse, along with your attorneys, work together to come to a consensus on how things will be decided and divided.
  • Communication – Communication is critical to the collaborative law process. It will teach you and your spouse how to communication effectively during this period of high stress and emotion. If children are involved in the relationship, this will be especially beneficial for their mental and emotional state.

The collaborative law process may be encouraged, but the traditional process also has its place. Scenarios where the traditional divorce process is best include:

  • Uncommunicative spouse – If your spouse is unwilling to communicate or cooperate, a judge’s ruling may be more proactive and beneficial.
  • A missing spouse – The traditional divorce process will be necessary if your spouse is missing or has left town. Without them present, it will be impossible to have a constructive conversation and make appropriate decisions.
  • Your spouse lacks good faith – Dealing with a spouse who acts dishonestly or hides assets may be best handled by a judge and court case.

Whatever your situation may be, contact the family law attorneys in Fargo at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys. Our team will help you navigate the divorce process and choose the most beneficial path for your situation.

 

Image courtesy of Douglas Palmer/flickr.

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