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A kinder, gentler way to end a marriage
Typically when a relationship fails and divorce is imminent, couples often get emotionally charged and begin not only blaming each other for the failure of the marriage, but begin a battle of fighting for everything they can get. When children are involved, they are unwittingly put into the middle of the battle and often used as pawns by adults who are supposed to be looking out for their best interests.
Shattered Lives takes an in-depth look into a kinder approach to ending a relationship or marriage with guests, psychologist Elaine Ducharme, PhD and Attorney Robert B. Fried, both experts on Collaborative Divorce.
Fortunately there is another option. It is called Collaborative Divorce and is designed to help families divorce with a sense of dignity. Attorneys who do Collaborative Divorce are trained to focus on the overall well-being of the entire family unit. The process itself utilizes a series of informal conferences attended by the attorneys, clients, a mental health professional and financial expert when needed.
The collaborative approach creates an atmosphere of open communication and cooperation that helps the couple in shaping a divorce agreement that fits the needs of their particular family. A mental health expert, a crucial part of the team, provides information on child development and family issues so that the parents can make good choices for and about their children. The team remains focused on a “win-win” solution.
Not all couples can utilize this process. In situations where there is abuse or domestic violence the couple may not be able to work collaboratively. However, for couples who truly love their children and can agree that they want to shape a plan that keeps the best interests of their kids at heart, I want to suggest that Collaborative is the best way to go.
From a financial standpoint, Collaborative Divorce can alleviate the cost involved in lengthy courtroom appearances and legal fees while attorneys try to fight for the interests of their separate clients, and appointed attorneys for their children, causing even more stress for all parties involved.
Most cases do not have to be litigated. We find most divorcing parties do not want to go to trial. They are looking to resolve their issues as adults out of court. Collaborative law and divorce mediation are two cost-effective and time-saving alternatives to divorce litigation. This is the way to go if you want to keep your lives private and if you want to end your marriage with dignity and respect. Only in divorce settlement agreements will the financial affidavit filed with the court be sealed. Otherwise, anyone can have access to your private financial information.
Shattering the lives of a family in the midst of a divorce can now be avoided along with the collaborative effort to do what’s best for all involved parties, especially children who, in an ideal world, would not be separated from either parent, nor be required to take sides.
Our discussion will give listeners valuable information from two top experts in the field of Collaborative Divorce, and explore the pitfalls of ending any relationship amicably.