Thinking about what kind of divorce you want is an unfamiliar concept to most people. Together, we will review your situation and discuss your process options. Many people are surprised to learn that making informed choices in the beginning, with knowledge of all of the possible options, can often help smooth out the bumps that will inevitably occur as you move forward.
Do you and your partner have a cordial relationship and an uncomplicated financial picture? If so, maybe you can sit down together at the kitchen table and figure it out without assistance, or with a little coaching. If you feel you need more guidance, you might need greater involvement of a legal coach to understand the law before you make a decision, or a mediator to facilitate communication between the two of you. If your asset and debt situation or your personal relationship is more complex, but you still want to have a respectful end to your relationship, a collaborative approach might make more sense for you. In the event your partner will not agree to mediation or collaboration, you may need a lawyer to represent you in settlement negotiations with your spouse’s lawyer or to represent you in a court hearing. Although I no longer represent individuals in court because I feel litigation is destructive to couples and families, you and I will review your full range of options so that you can decide what might work best for your particular situation.
There are some essential steps that you will progress through, no matter whether you decide to use mediation, collaborative divorce or legal coaching. These are:
- Eliciting and understanding goals and interests
- Gathering information and documentation
- Brainstorming options
- Evaluating those options and reality testing the likely consequences
- Reaching consensus
- Creating the written agreement
- Following up on the implementation
Each of the various methods for resolution will differ in terms of the specific process and timeline, but you can think of these progressive steps as the general course of action in the dissolution of your marriage. Of course, it’s not always easy to take those steps in an orderly fashion, especially when you and your partner are experiencing the intense emotions that often come with divorce. Keeping the focus on best intentions and good decision-making in light of that reality is what mediation and collaborative law are all about.