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Collaborative law may be best for children of divorcing couples

On this blog we often discuss how collaborative law can assist individuals going through a divorce reach an amicable resolution. Discussions often revolve around the team of professionals who can help the couple settle issues of property division, spousal support, child custody, visitation rights and child support. Yet, the approach taken in a divorce not only affects the two parties involved. Children, too, can be affected.

Children who are exposed to a disruptive, heated divorce can suffer emotionally. While children with good parents are often curious and open to exploring their world, those children who become exposed to their parents' divorce battles often become more concerned about their parents' well-being. This can leave a child feeling insecure and he or she may lose self-esteem. These issues can be exacerbated when children are forced to become a parent's emotional crutch during a contentious divorce.

Fortunately, a collaborative practice can help avoid these unwanted consequences. The collaborative approach brings the divorcing parties together and surrounds them with professionals, such as mental health experts, child specialists and financial advisors. With their own attorneys and the professional team dedicated to staying out of court and reaching an amicable resolution, the divorcing parties can discuss and settle legal issues in an emotionally healthy way. By communicating constructively and respectfully, the divorcing couple can settle their differences, reach a fair divorce settlement and protect their children's well-being.

Maryland residents who are considering a collaborative divorce can contact an attorney with experience handling such cases. He or she will then be able to sit down with the individual to discuss the process and the types of professionals that might be able to help resolve unsettled issues. This first step can be a strong move toward a new, happier and healthier life.

Source: The Bridge, "Collaborative Law Process: A new Paradigm for Divorcing Parents," Joyce Kahn, Jan. 28, 2013

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