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Divorce process does not have to be full of anger and fear

People are often surprised when they see a divorced couple who remain close friends. Instead, many expect the emotionally fraught divorce process to have brought about arguments, anger, and fear, forever ruining the splitting couples' relationship. While this is the case in many instances of divorce, it does not have to be. A couple that respects each other and truly wants the marriage to end amicably can seek out a collaborative practice to help reach a peaceful and fair resolution.

One couple that chose to go that route avoided the heartache of a traditional divorce and retained their friendship and a meaningful presence in their child's life. The couple is one who had a so called "good divorce," one where parents still celebrate many holidays together with their child, go to their child's sporting events together, and pose together in family pictures, many times with other spouses being present. The couple is happy they chose a collaborative law approach as they felt, as do experts, that conflict, not divorce, is most difficult on a divorcing couple's child.

As collaborative practice becomes more common and a viable option for many it is important to know what it entails. Under collaborative practice, the divorcing parties come together to work out a divorce agreement outside of court. Usually led by the parties' attorneys, the process may also have child specialists, financial advisors, and divorce coaches present, aimed at guiding the parting couple toward a resolution that is fair and as comfortable as possible. The divorce agreement reached under this process can deal with any divorce legal issue including property division, spousal support, visitation rights, child custody, and child support.

Collaborative law also allows the parties to work out disagreements and arguments without having to air them in front of a court. By doing this, the parties ensure their reputations are protected and they do not unnecessarily hurt the other party. Taking a collaborative approach may not be right for everyone, but discussing the option with the other party and an experienced collaborative law attorney is the first step to potentially reaching a divorce that leaves each party happy and prepared for their new life.

Source: Pacific NW Magazine, "Couples can divorce without drama: Beyond the hurt, anger and fear," Susan Kelleher, Aug. 30, 2013

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