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How can collaborative law help divorcing couples?


The weeks, months or even years leading up to a divorce may be some of the hardest times of a person's life. Therefore, once the life-changing decision to divorce is made, some couples in Colorado want to move forward with their lives, without having long-drawn out and emotionally difficult courtroom proceedings. For these individuals, collaborative law may be an attractive option.

Collaborative divorce is an out-of-court process in which couples commit to reach mutually agreed upon resolutions to their divorce legal issues. Their commitment to the collaborative divorce process will be set into writing, and each party will agree to negotiate their divorce fairly and in good faith. The parties must also agree that they will not hide assets or information from the other party. In a collaborative divorce, each party will have their own attorney. These attorneys will also commit to reaching a mutually-agreed upon resolution, and should the collaborative law process fail and the parties resort to litigation, these attorneys must step down and no longer represent their clients.

Collaborative divorce takes place in a neutral setting, not a courtroom. The parties and their attorneys will negotiate, and all parties are expected to go about the process in a positive and honest fashion. Unlike other types of alternative dispute resolution processes, there is no neutral mediator or arbitrator in a collaborative divorce. In addition, other professionals, such as counselors or financial experts, can be part of the collaborative divorce negotiations.

Oftentimes, couples who utilize the collaborative law process to settle their divorce legal issues are able to develop a solid agreement in writing, which is then approved by the court. While there may be situations in which collaborative law does not work, when it does, both parties may be able to walk away from the divorce in a satisfactory manner.

Source: FindLaw, "Collaborative Divorce: Overview," accessed July 5, 2017

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