October 23, 2013

Collaborative Divorce: An Opportunity for a Better Outcome Part 3

Categories: Divorce

The Future is BrightPart 3: Collaborative Divorce helps create better outcomes by requiring commitment at the beginning of the process. 

A Collaborative Divorce is one in which the husband and the wife each retain a lawyer for settlement purposes only.

One of the reasons that the process works well is that it causes both parties to make the necessary commitment early in the process. Almost all divorce cases, (approximately 95%) settle out of court. However, too often the settlement comes after the parties are near the point of financial and emotional exhaustion, sometimes creating flawed settlements and resentment. Many people reach a point of committing to a settlement only when they are nearly out of money, or they are told by their attorneys or the judge that moving forward will not be successful. These reluctant settlements, while better than a trial, come at too great of a price and can lead to a rocky future for the family.

In a Collaborative Divorce, both parties and their attorneys sign a Participation Agreement at the beginning of the process that challenges clients to focus on commitment to settlement before they are financially and emotionally drained. Because both parties are asked to engage their attorneys for settlement purposes only, they are forced to think about their commitment to settlement at the very beginning of the case, and not “on the courthouse steps.” Both clients understand that each of them must make a commitment at the beginning of the process. Early commitment from each party leads to better settlements that are made before financial and emotional resources are fully exhausted.

Early and deep client commitment is a big part of why people often get better outcomes in a Collaborative Divorce, since skilled Collaborative Professionals can help them commit, not only to settlement, but to other important matters, such as improving skills in the areas of parenting, communication or financial acumen.

However, this is only a part of the equation. In order to be successful, committed clients need to be guided by professionals that are skilled in helping them achieve the best outcomes in this new environment. This information will be discussed in the upcoming blog. However, if you want information on this now, go to www.collaborativelaw.org or www.ousky.com.

Read on to Part 4 by clicking here

Ron Ousky
Attorney, Ousky Law Firm

Ron Ousky is a Collaborative Attorney and mediator who has worked with divorcing families for thirty years and focuses on helping his clients find better outcomes through Collaborative Practice, mediation and other creative alternatives. Ron is also the co-author of The Collaborative Way to Divorce, and has trained divorce lawyers throughout North America and in Europe. He is also the co-founder of the Collaborative Alliance, an office sharing suite in Edina, that brings lawyers, mental health professionals and financial experts together to find better solutions for families. To learn more about Ron and his practice, go to www.Ousky.com

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