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Determining if a collaborative divorce is right for you

Ending a marriage can be a very difficult and painful process. However, there are ways to make it a little easier and a little less contentious.

One option is a collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce tackles the same issues as any other divorce, but it does so through a specific approach that can make the process more respectful, faster and a little easier. Below are some tips to help you determine if a collaborative divorce could be a good fit for your situation.

Committing to the process

A collaborative divorce requires parties to commit to the process. This doesn't mean divorcing spouses informally agree to give it a try. It means that divorcing spouses -- and their attorneys -- agree in writing to resolve issues outside of court. 

This ensures everyone is committed to the process and focused on resolving issues outside of court.

Cooperation, not confrontation

In a collaborative divorce, parties work together through cooperation and negotiation to reach settlements agreeable to both parties. This requires both people to be willing to compromise and make decisions together. As such, parties will have a better chance succeeding if they are respectful, realistic and amicable.

If an issue arises that parties cannot resolve themselves, there are still options to help keep the process productive. For instance, you can bring in other professionals like a mediator or child psychologist to help solve problems.

Complicating factors

While the collaborative approach can ultimately result in a more peaceful and cost-effective divorce, it may not work for everyone. 

For instance, if there is a history of violence or abuse, collaboration may not be appropriate. If there are highly complex conditions, like a massive estate or complicated custody issues, litigation may be the best option. Further, if either you or your soon-to-be ex is not willing to commit to the process, you must pursue other options.

Based on these factors, you might recognize that collaboration is either a good option or an unlikely one. In either case, you should know your rights and legal options in accordance with Wisconsin laws. Discussing your case with an attorney is typically a good place to start when you are assessing this difficult situation. Not all attorneys participate in this Collaborative Divorce process. We do. 

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Law Offices of Mark S. Knutson, S.C. | 14170 West Greenfield Avenue | Brookfield, WI 53005 | Phone: 262-649-1241 | Map & Directions