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Collaborative law may help avoid divorce pitfalls

There is no doubt that getting divorced can be tremendously tough. After spending years building a life together, it may be difficult for a couple to come to agreements on how to split assets and time with children. Sometimes, especially when couples cannot get along, litigation is necessary to resolve these disputes. Many times, though, litigation is unnecessary and issues revolving around property division, spousal support, child custody, child support, and visitation rights can all be settled through negotiation.

One way to avoid litigation and come to an agreement is to consider collaborative practice. Under collaborative law, the parties to the divorce work together with professionals to find a fair resolution. The professionals involved may be financial advisors, child specialists, and/or divorce coaches. Through this process, the parties have the support they need to reach an end to the marriage that hopefully leaves them in a fair position afterwards.

While collaborative practice can be beneficial, there are still many divorce legal issues that sometimes get overlooked of which Maryland residents should take note. One divorce pitfall is ignoring tax implications of the settlement. Retirement assets, for example, should not be treated like cash as retirement account transfers are often taxed. This can drastically alter negotiations during a divorce and one should be aware of tax implications in order to achieve fairness.

Also, some individuals going through a divorce fail to see the full, long-term financial picture. To remedy this situation, both parties must disclose all of their financial assets so that a fair resolution can be reached. The collaborative approach can help remedy these divorce pitfalls.

Despite media images of nasty divorce litigation, a marriage can actually end amicably. In fact, one expert suggests only five percent of all marriages wind up going through full-blown litigation. So, if divorce has one feeling anxious about emotionally charged fights in front of a judge, he or she should speak with an experienced collaborative law attorney to assess his or her options.

Source: HITC Business, "How to avoid divorce settlement blunders," Elizabeth MacBride, Nov. 8, 2013

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