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Collaboration trumps divorce litigation for most Maryland couples

In decades past, divorce followed a predictable course. Virtually every case was litigated, and distinct lines were drawn between parties from the very outset. This often led to a far more contentious process than was necessary, and certainly did not offer a good fit for every couple who decided to move past a Maryland marriage that was simply not working. Today, however, there are far more options available for handling divorce issues, and the process can be tailored to suit any given couple.

Litigation involves delegating a majority of the communication between spouses to the attorneys involved in the case. Often, very little negotiation is conducted between the parties themselves, which can lead to misunderstandings and increased tension between soon-to-be-exes. For many in Maryland, collaboration offers a far preferable solution.

Collaboration begins with an agreement between spouses that it is both possible and desirable to end the marriage with a low level of contention and stress. Parties have to commit to being upfront and honest with one another, and to work together to reach their shared goal of moving on to individuals lives. While this approach will not work for every couple, it offers a number of benefits to those who embrace it.

Collaboration during divorce can also help Maryland couples who share children transition into their new roles as co-parents. When children are involved, it is impossible to cut all ties with one's former spouse. Learning to work through conflict during the divorce process is an excellent way to establish good habits for future interaction with one another. The end result can be a better environment for both parents and kids.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Collaborative divorce avoids going to court to settle differences, Kim Lyons, Oct. 7, 2013

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