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Collaborative divorce may involve other professionals

One question about collaborative divorce that residents of the greater Denver area may have is how exactly decisions get made when there is the inevitable disagreement between the two parties.

After all, collaborative law is not a guarantee that there will be no disputes between two parties. Rather, it is a process by which two spouses agree to part ways and decided things like property division, child custody and visitation without resorting to litigation and the conflict that tends to come with that approach to things.

Since the goal is not to appear in front of a judge, the lawyers for two sides in a collaborative divorce will usually agree to rely on the expertise of outside professionals to help them resolve any disagreements or, at least, to foster further discussion and negotiation. Incidentally, this process can be valuable in certain family law disputes not necessarily related to divorce.

For instance, if there is a disagreement about the couple's parenting plan, then the lawyers and parties may arrange to have a child psychologist or a parenting coordinator, who is oftentimes a family therapist or an expert in children's behavior, to give an opinion that both parties will agree to respect. With respect to financial matters, a financial advisor, accountant or even a real estate agent may be consulted.

While these professionals will still no doubt expect to be paid, it usually costs a lot less to consult them in the collaborative process than it does to hail them in to court as expert witnesses. One still will also require an attorney who will help make sure the professionals' opinions are mindful of the law, but again, the overall costs are usually lower than litigation.

Also, the professionals are oftentimes in a better position than a judge, who may have limited knowledge of the case right up until trial, to come up with workable solutions for the family.

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