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Collaborative Divorce

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Family Fight

Nobody likes divorce but...

You Can Divorce With Dignity

All too often, by the time a marriage ends, there has been too much arguing, chaos, and bitterness. If children are involved, the emotional damage of a high conflict divorce can have a long-lasting negative impact on a child’s development.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about divorce. At times, it can be a battlefield where everyone in its path is left bitter, angry, and hateful. Sadly, children are frequently put in the middle of this war zone. The following observations are heart breaking:

  • Nearly 1 million children are involved in divorce each year.

  • Children of divorce are 50% more likely to divorce than kids of intact families.

Divorce does not have to be ugly. In fact, it can be a fair, mature process where you and your spouse, along with your attorneys, work together as a team. The Collaborative Divorce process makes it more likely that mothers and fathers will work together for their children’s benefit.

The Collaborative Divorce Approach
  • Both parties and their attorneys sign a contract that states that each person is committed to the Collaborative Divorce process.

  • All participants have the same goal: to make the divorce less combative and damaging to one another and their children.

  • Everyone focuses on solving problems, not creating them.

  • When necessary, parties mutually select trained mental health professionals, financial professionals, divorce coaches, child psychologists, business appraisers, or accountants to act as neutral experts.

  • Everyone, including the attorneys, remains committed to working together as a team to resolve all issues concerning children and to divide property in a fair and practical way.

Distraught Couple

Below is a table that compares the Collaborative approach with the traditional litigation option.

Collaborative Litigation
Who Controls Process Couple controls process and makes final decisions. Judge controls process and makes final decisions.
Degree of Adversity Couple pledges mutual respect and openness. Court process is based on an adversarial system.
Cost Costs are manageable, often less expensive than litigation. Unpredictable costs; can rise rapidly including frequency of post-judgment litigation.
Timetable Couple creates timetable. Judge sets timetable; frequent delays crowded court calenders.
Use of Outside Experts Jointly retained specialists offer guidance to help couple develop mutually beneficial solutions. Separate experts are hired to support litigants’ positions, often at great expense to each.
Lawyer Involvement Lawyers work toward a mutually created settlement. Lawyers fight to win; someone loses.
Privacy Process and discussion/negotiation are kept private. Dispute becomes public record and, sometimes, media attention.
Lines of Communication Couple communicates directly with assistance of team members. Couple negotiates through lawyers.

Ask Your Attorney About These Divorce Methods

A number of lawyers in northeast Indiana have been trained in the Collaborative Divorce approach. For a list of these attorneys you can click here or call (260) 421-5060.

Contact Us: (260) 421-5060