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More Maryland couples finding collaborative divorce a plus

Maryland residents who read this blog or who tracked the recent divorce settlement between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise may not be surprised to find out that many couples are turning to the collaborative law approach in order to reach their ultimate goal: a quick and amicable divorce settlement.

Couples and experts agree that a quick and amicable divorce settlement can be especially important for the children involved in the process. The emotional damage that can be unintentionally piled on children whose parents are involved in a highly contested divorce can be irreversible. The collaborative law approach to divorce serves to rein in the charged emotions that can accompany a litigated divorce.

The stagnant economy has also provided an extra incentive for more and more couples to turn to collaborative divorces. They are typically a more cost-effective approach than litigation. The emotional turmoil that one experiences in a divorce can also be significantly decreased if the parties fully engage in this process.

Collaborative divorce requires both parties to sign an agreement to work out their differences out of court. For this process to be successful, it is advisable that all participants not speak negatively about each other. The collaborative process is all about engaging in open communication and trying to understand each spouse's needs and viewpoints when approaching a settlement.

Issues such as child custody, visitation rights, property division, child support and spousal support can all be successfully addressed in a collaborative law process. Frequently, an independent financial advisor may be brought in to assist both parties in making sound financial decisions regarding the division of their assets and property. A mental health person could be engaged, too, to help with the emotional side of things.

Most importantly, because of the nature of a collaborative divorce, couples who have successfully reached a settlement through the process are better positioned to maintain a positive parenting relationship that will benefit their child long after the divorce is finalized.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Can divorce be collaborative?" Jen Weigel, July 10, 2012

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