Did you know that Kansas couples who would like to divorce have an option available to them that could save them time, money, and heartache? Collaborative law is a non-adversarial approach that couples can use to resolve their divorce cases without going to court. They do so through a series of meetings where the parties and their attorneys work through the various issues involved in the divorce until they reach agreement on each of the relevant topics.
Since the collaborative divorce process involves lawyers, each party can rest assured that someone is looking out for their best interest who can provide legal advice to them throughout the process. What makes collaborative divorce different from traditional divorce is the role that the attorneys play in the process. In a traditional divorce, each party meets with their attorney and the attorneys communicate back and forth about what the parties want out of the divorce. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the lawyers and clients meet in court and present their cases before a judge. In a collaborative divorce, the parties do meet independently with their attorneys, but then the parties and their attorneys meet several times to talk through what the parties hope to accomplish as well as possible ways that they could accomplish those things.
Attorneys who offer collaborative divorce services are specially trained to keep themselves and their clients focused on the goal of reaching an agreement. They know how to communicate ideas in a non-threatening way, and how to help the parties communicate respectfully with each other.
There are many benefits to a collaborative divorce. Since the overall goal of the process is agreement, parties often report experiencing a lower level of tension in their day to day interactions with each other, which often leads to a reduction in overall stress. This benefit reaches farther than just the adults who are divorcing – when there is less tension between parents, children benefit immensely. Couples who use collaborative divorce often report feeling like they got much of what they wanted out of their divorce, which is not always the case with couples who get divorced in the traditional way. Individuals who have gone through traditional divorces often report feeling like their former spouse got “more” and that they got “less,” regardless of how much each of them received of property, parenting time, and child support.
Some couples may feel apprehensive about attempting collaborative divorce because they fear that conflict may develop along the way and that they may not be able to reach an agreement. Fortunately, the collaborative divorce process has a built in solution for that possible problem. If the parties cannot resolve their case through collaborative divorce, their lawyers are required to withdraw from their representation of each of them, and the parties must retain different attorneys who can assist them in resolving their case through litigation.
If you would like to pursue a collaborative divorce, Kansas Family Law Attorney Thomas McDowell would be honored to help you. To learn more about collaborative divorce, call our office today, at (316) 633-4322 to schedule an initial consultation.