Divorce is difficult for all parties involved. In many cases, the adversarial nature of traditional divorce is hard on friendships, family relationships, and of course, the spouses who have decided to end their marriage.
However, new processes have emerged over the years which allow divorcing couples to avoid the adversarial nature of traditional divorce. Divorcing couples can now choose to embrace the Collaborative Divorce process, a gentler approach that helps spouses achieve individual and mutual goals while reducing stress, anger and potentially the cost.
The process involves a team of Collaboratively-trained professionals in fields such as family law, mental health and financial planning who assist divorcing spouses to reach a mutually beneficial agreement through interest-based discussions rather than positioned demands.
Children caught up in divorce proceedings are often the most impacted by the potentially combative process. By focusing on a respectful and peaceful approach to family dissolution, Collaborative Divorce can help to protect spouses’ relationships and make post-divorce co-parenting much more attainable.
The newly revised Michigan Court Rules allow couples who have completed the Collaborative process to file a joint “petition” to divorce and permits avoiding often adversarial pretrial hearings. If you complete a Collaborative Divorce, neither spouse is named a “plaintiff” or “defendant,” terms that can emotionally impact a couple after such a non-adversarial and team-centered approach to dissolving their marriage.
By involving a team of professionals from a variety of disciplines, couples often find that costs are reduced. The team uses each professional for a specific purpose, reducing the time that attorneys often spend as counselors and financial advisors. The process is efficient, and couples are motivated to come to the table and have productive and non-adversarial conversations.
If you are considering divorce, please take the time to investigate all of the available options before proceeding with any legal action. In West Michigan, please consult with the specially trained Collaborative Law professionals and Grand Rapids area divorce attorneys at Johnsen Wikander and let us help you through your most difficult time.