Study after study over the past several decades has documented the effects that hostile divorces have not only on the couple who is breaking up, but also the children of those marriages. A contentious divorce can have an impact on both emotional and physical long-term health for all involved. With almost half of all first-time marriages ending in divorce, and even more second and subsequent marriages not working out, it is hard to avoid being affected by divorce one way or another, whether it is your own or that of your parents or your adult children.
However, not all divorces have to be quite so difficult. More and more law firms are offering clients the option of collaborative divorce, and many of those clients are choosing that option as the more peaceful way to end their marriages.
What is a Collaborative Divorce?
Unlike traditional, litigated divorce, where parental responsibilities, division of assets and debts, and other marital issues are determined by a judge following a trial, collaborative divorce does not involve litigation. Instead, couples agree to work through these issues and come to an agreement on how they should be resolved. This is done with the help of attorneys representing each of the spouses. Many collaborative divorce teams also include a financial advisor, as well as mental health professionals and other experts whose input may be useful in the divorce process.
Also unlike traditional divorces, where there is little or no direct communication between spouses, in the collaborative process, both couples speak directly to each other. This allows them to determine the pace of their divorce. The average collaborative divorce takes approximately four months, compared to a traditional divorce, which can often drag out for one to two years, or even longer in some cases.
Committing to Cooperation
In order for the collaborative process to work, both spouses must be in agreement with what the end goal of the process is: to peacefully work out a fair divorce settlement. An added benefit to the collaborative divorce process, particularly if you have children and will need to continue cooperating with your soon-to-be-ex, is that couples actually learn how to communicate with each other and work out their issues. This especially benefits the children, who now have parents who are able to talk with each other, instead of anger and hostility that is often left over when the marriage ends after an acrimonious court fight.
Contact a Wheaton Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering a divorce from your spouse and you think collaborative divorce may work for your family, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation with the team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.