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Want to stay out of court in divorce? Consider collaborative law

Although knock down, drag out courtroom battles make for hair-raising television and movie scenes, in reality, many New Jersey spouses would rather find an option that allows them to stay far away from the inside of a courtroom when they divorce. In fact, many people simply want to discuss the issues, come up with agreeable arrangements and sign papers to settle things and move on in life. When this is the desire of both parties, collaborative law can prove to be a viable divorce option.

In a collaborative divorce, the focus is on working together alongside impartial specialists, such as financial advisors, tax consultants and therapists (particularly when children are involved). The approach is cooperative and one of joint problem-solving. Spouses are each represented by an attorney, who resolve to work together to foster a fair and comprehensive settlement. 

This type of alternative dispute resolution works best when both spouses are willing to cooperate and compromise. Those who can barely exist in the same room without arguing may want to explore other divorce options. For collaborative divorce to succeed, the parties will want to peacefully discuss all issues and come up with fair solutions to any disagreements that arise.

Many states, including New Jersey, has its own collaborative law divorce guidelines. One thing most states have in common is that if spouses are unable to accomplish their goals using this method and choose to litigate unresolved issues in court, they have to retain new attorneys to represent them. A family law attorney can explain the entire process and can be on hand to act in either capacity, collaboratively or through a litigated proceeding.

Source: tspr.org, "New Illinois Law Outlines "Collaborative Divorce" Guidelines", Daisy Contreras, Jan. 2, 2018

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