Marian Kromkowski and Matthew Posner of Kromkowski & Posner, P.C.

COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

Getting a divorce, no matter how simple or complex the situation may be, puts an emotional and financial strain on everyone involved.

There are many unsettling changes to deal with: finding a new place to live, handling new financial responsibilities and custody arrangements, and the uncertainty of not knowing what the future will bring.

The prospect of going to court can be equally intimidating. That’s why more and more couples are turning to resolution methods that focus on working together and arriving at a mutually acceptable settlement.

THE COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE OPTION:
Collaborative Divorce OptionsCollaborative Divorce is a settlement focused, team based approach designed to address the emotional, financial and legal consequences of divorce and to fashion future oriented solutions.

In the Collaborative Divorce approach, a professional team facilitates a couple’s decision to resolve their dispute without going to court. Both husband and wife retain an attorney who has had Collaborative Divorce training. The parties and lawyers all sign a commitment to reach a settlement without going to court. If negotiations break down, all members of the Collaborative divorce team, including both attorneys, must resign from the case. This provides a powerful incentive to continue with the often challenging job of crafting a settlement that feels fair to all members of the family. It also allows the professionals to focus all their efforts on settlement considerations.

The couple agrees to honest and full disclosure of information and to remain respectful of each other throughout the process. Other collaboratively-trained professionals are chosen to assist in settlement discussions. They may include neutral financial specialists and child specialists. Both parties are strongly encouraged to work with a collaboratively-trained mental health professional, called a divorce coach –to help them manage the emotional ups and downs of the divorce process.

Advantages of collaborative practice
Collaborative Divorce Options

  • Less stress and animosity
  • With a focus on the future, past differences and unproductive patterns are left behind
  • Each spouse feels in control of his or her own future
  • The dignity and privacy of the family is preserved
  • Parenting decisions put the interests of children first
  • Compliance with the final settlement is usually greater
  • Collaborative practice often reduces the time and cost involved in divorce by:
    a) Fully disclosing assets rather than a lengthy investigation process
    b) Engaging one expert for financial valuations rather than two
    c) Encouraging communication and agreement throughout the process
    Costs are largely determined by how long it takes the participants to settle, a powerful incentive to negotiate in good faith with an equitable settlement as the primary goal.

    HELPFUL LINKS:

    Up North Collaborative Divorce Professionals
    http://www.upnorthcollaborativedivorce.com/index.php

    Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan
    http://www.collaborativepracticemi.org/

    International Academy of Collaborative Professionals-an international and interdisciplinary association fostering public awareness of the collaborative practice model and providing continuing education for collaborative professionals.
    http://www.collaborativepractice.com/