Smith, Meier & Webb, LPA

The divorce alternative offered via collaborative law

So, you’re getting divorced.

In Ohio, as elsewhere, that process can unfold in myriad ways. Many couples whose marriages have been marked more by persistent hostility than amicability end their unions in the same vein that they endured them.

That is, they spar mightily during the divorce proceedings, effecting an adversarial stance at virtually every juncture. Some marriages are simply destined to end that way, especially when material disagreement extends to key matters such as child custody/support and property division.

Rancor, distrust and a scorched-earth mentality hardly spells the predestined route for every decoupling, though. Many divorcing couples are able to maintain general civility throughout the dissolution process and thereafter, highly valuing the idea that working together as best as possible is mutually beneficial.

Indeed, it often is, especially when children are involved. Divorce spells the end of a marital union, not a continuing relationship as parents. And many impending exes realize that, while their marriage didn’t work, they will still retain an enduring post-split connection. Knowing that, they want to shore up bridges, not burn them.

Collaborative divorce can promote that goal. The process is fundamentally different than an adversarial split under the close oversight of a family law court. In collaborative divorce, both parties secure legal counsel and agree to work together to reach a negotiated settlement. If that doesn’t result, they hire new counsel and proceed to trial.

Collaborative divorce is centrally marked by a couple’s autonomy over the process, as well as their control over key aspects like agenda/timing and costs.

Again, collaborative divorce is not a preferred strategy in every case. For some splitting couples, though, it provides an optimal route for ending a marriage and moving forward in life. A certified collaborative divorce attorney can provide further information.

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