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Collaboration may ease the pain of divorce

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Michigan couples whose marriages are coming to an end may see the process with trepidation. Divorce can be one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through. It can be a source of fear and anxiety and can have heavy financial and emotional costs. One of the ways to minimize the costs associated with the process is to seek out an attorney who practices collaborative divorce.

Collaborative divorce is a term for a divorce in which the parties work together with their attorneys to resolve the matter in a results-oriented, positive manner. In a collaborative divorce, the couple may agree on the details without ever setting foot in a courtroom.

The collaborative divorce process begins with the execution of a written commitment to interact and negotiate in good faith, from a fair-minded place. The parties promise transparency with regard to paperwork and finances. The couple and their attorneys have meetings in a neutral setting, without a mediator. It gives each of the individuals an opportunity to speak and listen, rather than argue, and feel heard without judgment.

If the divorce is contentious, or if one or both of the parties refuses to compromise, collaborative divorce is unlikely to be successful. In some cases, the parties to a collaborative divorce are awakened to their own obstructive roles early on, and they adjust, and the collaborative process can move forward. If such adjustments do not take place, the parties may have to transition to a traditional divorce.In some cases, the process will make use of other resources, such as an accountant, a therapist or a financial adviser. Both parties are expected to be open and honest for the duration of the process.

If the process proves to be unworkable, an attorney who has experience with contested divorces may be able to help by examining the different options available to a client. An attorney could help negotiate a financial settlement or provide advocacy in front of a judge.

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