How To Divorce (A Better Way)

What if we started this blog by stating that to divorce properly, you should argue, fight, finger-point, and do anything to make your spouse more upset? You’d likely stop reading, which would be the correct thing to do. Instinctually, you understand that these actions do nothing more than inspire the other side to become equally aggressive. Yet many people threaten their spouse with litigation, have their attorneys do it for them, or insist on thinking divorce is a win-lose scenario. The harder I fight, the better my chances are of winning. 

“Winning” takes different forms. For most, it usually centers around gaining assets or custody. They see a path to getting what they want and typically assume they must go through the courts. With that in mind, we want to highlight that most family law disputes are settled without going to court. Litigation is costly. Your attorney will devote an extensive amount of her time to preparing for it, and this work comes at a high price. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, after devoting your money and mental energy, you may walk away with less than what you wanted.

There’s Another Option

Collaborative law involves a divorcing couple and their attorneys. Rather than drawing a line in the sand and taking sides, everyone involved forms a team. To add another layer, everyone agrees not to pursue litigation. By removing the elements of opposing sides and threats of going to court, you are left with the need to work through your issues collaboratively. Before we elaborate on the benefits of collaborative law, we must point out that there are other team members. In addition to having attorneys who have signed documentation to avoid court, you can have financial and mental health neutrals to support your efforts. 

Embrace the Team Model

Regardless of how far apart you and your spouse are in terms of an agreement, you have laid the foundation for resolution. Collaborative law is voluntary and private, creating an environment for respectful negotiation. Even if your spouse asks for more assets than they are entitled to and demands full custody even though you are a fit parent, that’s ok. It’s not about where you are but where you end up. 

These demands may be rooted in your spouse not understanding the law, or they are trying to do something based on anger. Their requests may evolve when an attorney explains how unlikely they are to get these things. After a recalibration of expectations, negotiations can begin—and they may take time! But that, too, is ok. During this challenging time, you have a team of people aligned and working toward the same goal. 

Never forget that as a parent, you and your spouse will have to be a team when the collaborative divorce process ends! Every fight is another hurdle. When you have a process that encourages and fosters respectful communication (and even disagreement), you are simultaneously planting the seeds of a successful co-parent relationship. In addition to finding a mutually agreeable result, you are developing new communication skills with your spouse. 

Choose Us to Be a Part of Your Team 

After you determine that you want to dissolve your marriage through mediation and negotiation, you must choose an attorney who aligns with your mindset. Even if you don’t have children and many assets, a collaborative divorce can help you work through the details without involving the courts. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and to learn more about the collaborative divorce process.

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Andrea L. Gamalski Attorneys at Law

Andrea L. Gamalski understands how important it is to have a compassionate and empathetic family law attorney who fights hard for their clients in the courtroom–mainly because she’s been one of these clients herself.

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