Monday, May 09, 2005

Collaborative divorce is gaining fans in Santa Fe - New Mexico

Article available at the Free New Mexican


Divorce is almost always emotionally and financially painful for couples. But it doesn’t have to end in a costly, all-out war over the house, the bank account, the kids — or even the cat.

Collaborative practice is different from mediation, where a neutral, third party helps the disputing parties settle their case. In collaborative practice, the spouses and their attorneys make these decisions in fourway discussions.

In some cases, the divorcing couple might select a specialist to represent their children and a neutral financial expert in addition to their collaborative lawyers.

Advocates say this model is cheaper and faster than traditional divorce, reduces family conflict and results in higher compliance with agreements.

You keep control of the process without going to court. Children’s needs are given priority. You and your partner commit to reaching agreement through a problem-solving approach. An atmosphere of respect preserves self-esteem. Open communication provides tools for effective problem solving in the future. There is full disclosure of facts and information. Face-to-face meetings allow for mutually created resolutions. Process helps couple plan for their futures.

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