Individuals considering divorce often wonder what their options are. One option, which is becoming increasingly more popular, is collaborative practice. In collaborative practice, the parties and attorneys voluntarily agree to settle all disputes without resorting to litigation. Collaborative practice has many benefits including lower cost, a supportive and client-centered approach, and specially trained professionals who guide their clients toward mutually acceptable and sustainable resolutions. Another huge benefit is the use of creativity throughout the collaborative process.
Collaborative practice is an “outside of the box” option. Divorce includes very personal issues such as custody, parenting time, and the division of assets. Why would individuals involved want a third party, the court, to determine such intimate and private matters? At the end of the day, the judge and lawyers go back to their lives, and the families are the ones who are left to live out the court’s decision. Luckily, the collaborative process provides a more creative approach, which can lead to better outcomes for families.
In collaborative practice, the professionals assist the parties in brainstorming options for the resolution of issues. Through this process, parties are able to come up with unique and creative options that work for them. It is important to generate as many ideas as possible in order to determine what is the most reasonable and realistic. Often times this results in the parties arriving at solutions, which would not have been considered, had the parties gone through litigation and had a judge determine their fate. In litigated divorce cases, judges have to follow the laws, statues and rules, and there is very little room for creativity. In the collaborative practice, creativity is paramount in order to amicably resolve important issues that are in the best interests for the family’s future.
Creative problem solving is not always an easy process. Sometimes individuals come into the collaborative process with a set idea of what the outcome should be. With the assistance of specially trained collaborative professionals, parties are able to discuss their goals and have their voice heard, which is necessary in order to arrive at a resolution that allows the parties to value the process and be satisfied with the results. With the use of the collaborative process, you and your family can work innovatively and creatively to reach resolutions tailored to meet your family’s needs.
- By Kristin Contryman