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Is Collaborative Divorce Right for Me? 5 Factors to Consider in Michigan

Posted on in Divorce

Farmington Hills collaborative divorce attorney, collaborative divorce, collaborative divorce process, children and divorce, divorce and financesIs the collaborative divorce process the ideal choice for everyone? As with most “all or nothing” questions, the answer is “no.” The collaborative approach is now considered the best option for many if not most divorcing couples, but not for all.

To determine if a collaborative divorce is right for you, consider the following yay/nay factors.

1. Threatening Behaviors

Has either party ever felt threatened, either physically or verbally, by the other? Are allegations of child abuse or domestic violence likely to arise? If so, it is unlikely that the joint meetings (including both spouses and their respective attorneys, along with financial advisors and other specialists as needed) called for in the collaborative process would be successful. It would likely be better to let attorneys manage the divorce process, keeping the spouses at a safe distance.

2. Commitment to Cooperate

For the collaborative divorce process to be successful, both parties must be committed to the process. You must be willing to communicate openly and honestly, doing your best to listen to each other, and try to empathize with each other’s needs and concerns, even when you do not agree. You must have the patience to work through each issue and be willing to work toward solutions that are fair and beneficial to all. If one party is determined to be adversarial and throw up barriers, the collaborative process is unlikely to work.

3. Children and Finances

If you do not have children and do not have significant assets to be divided, the collaborative process in this case can be quick and easy.

On the other hand, if you do have children and/or numerous assets to be valued and divided, perhaps even a family business, then the collaborative process can be a very productive way to reach an equitable settlement that paves the way for amicable post-divorce relations. The collaborative family law process encourages the use of neutral advisors, such as a child specialist, to advise on parenting plans and a financial specialist to advise on asset valuation, tax consequences, and related issues.

However, if too much animosity has built up due to past arguments over these matters, or there is concern that one party may hide assets or crucial information from the other, then arbitration or litigation may be the necessary to ensure an equitable settlement.

4. Emotional and Physical Readiness

If both parties are ready to focus on the future and make a healthy transition to unmarried life, a collaborative divorce may be right for you. On the other hand, if one or both parties are struggling with mental or physical health issues, this may not be the right time for collaborative law.

5. Attorney Guidance

Ultimately, the best way to determine whether a collaborative divorce is right for you is to meet with an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss the details of your situation. An attorney trained in both collaborative law and litigation will help you choose the approach best suited to your needs.

Collaborative Divorce Attorneys in Livonia and Farmington Hills

If a collaborative divorce sounds right for you, it is critical to select a highly trained and experienced Farmington Hills collaborative divorce attorney. The attorneys at Elkouri Heath, PLC can guide you through a process that leads to an equitable settlement and smoother post-divorce relations. To schedule your consultation, call 248-344-9700.

Sources:

http://www.collaborativepracticemi.org/faq.php

http://www.collaborativepracticemi.org/helpful_articles.php

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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