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Collaborative law may help avoid litigated divorces

Many New Jersey couples will file for divorce this year. No two situations are identical, so there's no way to predict which marriage will last and which will end. Where children are concerned, however, many parents facing divorce proceedings face some things in common. For instance, most want what is best for their kids, and may be willing to try alternate means of dispute resolution, such as collaborative law, in order to focus on their children's best interests.

Typically, both the collaborative and mediated divorce proceedings involve attorneys assisting spouses to achieve fair settlements without resorting to litigation. That's not to say divorces that start out in mediation or collaborative law never wind up in court; they sometimes do. However, those entering these processes usually do so because they want to avoid costly and time-consuming courtroom battles.

The collaborative process allows parents to retain full control over their situations rather than turning major decisions over to the court. The court continues to have the ultimate say in all child-related issues in divorce. However, when spouses are able to come up with proposed parenting plans in an amicable fashion, the court may have to do little more than approve the plan and issue a final decree.

New Jersey parents who wish to avoid litigation can consider the collaborative law process or mediation options. What works for one set of parents may not even be a viable option for another. That's why no matter which path is chosen, it's often helpful to seek guidance along the way from an experienced family law attorney.

Source:, "How To Get Custody After Divorce (Without Involving Them In A Nasty Court Battle)", Kevin J. Chroman, Jan. 29, 2018

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