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Collaborative law offers a kinder, gentler divorce option

Many Maryland spouses have a very narrow conception of the divorce process. The end of a marriage is often likened to going to battle with one’s spouse. While virtually everyone knows a friend or family member who has experienced a combative divorce, it is important to understand that this is not the only divorce model available to spouses. Collaborative law offers an alternative approach, and one that can make significant strides toward a less contentious divorce.

Collaboration begins with an agreement between parties to make every effort to work together to reach a mutually agreeable divorce resolution. Spouses are encouraged to work out many of the terms of their divorce on their own. Both sides typically retain their own legal counsel, but those professionals are there to provide advice and guidance, not to litigate the matter in a court of law.

When it comes to property division, couples who use collaboration can work through the division of marital wealth with the goal of reaching a resolution that serves the needs of both parties. By avoiding argument over minor matters, the divorce can move forward in a shorter window of time. An added advantage is reduced legal costs, when compared to a traditionally litigated divorce.

Divorce is often a time of heightened emotions, and it is easy to fall into a pattern of making financial decisions that are not based in logic or reason. Doing so, however, can result in an end result that is far more stressful and costly than it has to be. By using collaborative law to reach the end of a marriage, both Maryland spouses can walk away with a property division outcome that is in line with their future financial needs, as opposed to an expensive divorce that leaves both sides with fewer resources to make use of as they move into single life.

Source: Today Money, “How to get divorced without breaking the bank“, Susan Caminiti, Feb. 9, 2015

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