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Reasons why collaborative divorce may be good for Marylanders

Divorces can take many different paths. In one option, a couple seeks to dissolve its marriage through litigation. This process can take some time, and the adversarial nature may lead to heated arguments. Litigation also puts family law decisions like property division, spousal support, child custody, child support, and visitation rights in the hands of a judge. While many of Maryland's residents choose this option, if the couple gets along and wishes to split amicably, then a collaborative divorce may be an alternate option.

Through a collaborative divorce, each party typically retains his or her lawyer and work together to hash out a divorce settlement that is fair. Other experts may be present throughout the process, including divorce coaches, financial advisors, and child experts in effort to ensure the divorce processes smoothly and fairly.

There are many benefits to a collaborative divorce. For instance, a collaborative approach allows a divorcing couple to keep their divorce private, meaning financial status will not have to be disclosed in court. This may be particularly appealing to business owners. Additionally, a collaborative divorce may save the parties time and money. By avoiding litigation, the divorcing couple also prevents any children involved from living through the process that can sometimes turn ugly.

Though a collaborative divorce is a great fit for some, it may not be the best option in all situations. If a couple cannot get along or hold a conversation without getting into an argument, litigation may be their best option. However, collaborative divorce is a peaceful, dignified way to end a marriage, and should be seriously considered by those who wish to dissolve their marriage. A Maryland attorney experienced with collaborative practice can sit with the couple and help them decide if this option supports their best interests.

Source: The Courier-Journal, "Collaborative divorces keep separation details secret," Andrew Wolfson, Dec. 15, 2013

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