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Collaborative law approach to divorce makes steady gains

In Maryland, and across the country, the collaborative approach to family law is steadily gaining acceptance nationwide as a valid and smart alternative for many reasons. Collaborative divorce requires both parties to sign an agreement to work out their differences out of court. The collaborative process is all about engaging in open communication and trying to understand each spouse's needs and viewpoints when approaching a settlement.

A new law entitled the "Collaborative Family Law Act" has just been approved in the state of Ohio and is expected to be signed into law shortly by the governor. This legislation now makes collaborative law an approved and valid approach to divorce in that state, as it is in Maryland. This encourages divorcing individuals to consider this approach as opposed to the more traditional one that can involve expensive and lengthy trial court proceedings, should the parties fail to reach a mutual agreement.

Divorcing couples are attracted to the process of collaborative divorce for many reasons. First, it is generally a much more peaceful process because it is handled without contentious and costly court litigation. This is especially attractive to parents who mutually agree that they want to minimize the impact of their divorce on the children. Every issue, even the ones that are traditionally the most problematic, such as child custody, visitation rights, child support and spousal support can be settled and worked out between the parties in this process. Other professionals, such as mental health advisors and experienced financial advisors, can also be brought in to assist in moving the process along in a positive direction.

Finally, many couples in Maryland and throughout the country are opting for this process as it is generally less expensive and faster than a traditional divorce procedure. For all of these reasons, more and more divorcing couples are seeing that, if they can collaborate, they should - and state legislatures are responding in kind.

Source: mariononline.com, "Lawmakers Hope to Make Divorces Quicker and Less Combative, Expensive" Dec. 6, 2012

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