Divorce with Dignity - Imagine That!
Divorce is never easy,
emotionally or otherwise.
Regardless of who wants the
divorce, emotions run the gamut.
For example, one might
experience sadness, grief, satisfaction, anger, happiness, depression,
and anxiety all at the same time. If children are involved, the process
can be even more painful.
Although the percentage of
those seeking divorce continues to climb, to the child of divorcing
parents that percentage is 100 percent. If the parties participate in
protracted litigation and fight with no apparent end in sight, the
children suffer the most.
Even while acknowledging
their feelings, one can still maintain one's dignity throughout the
process and participate with their lawyer from beginning to end.
The Collaborative Law
process allows divorcing parties to settle their differences in a less
hostile environment with attorneys who advocate on their behalf. The
couple agrees to work to reach an agreement that is interest-based as
opposed to disagreeing apparently just to disagree, mostly because the
parties think that is the way it is supposed to be.
Yet, the justice system is
a good one, and we have professionals prepared to serve. The difficulty
is that when a person places his or her problems in front of a stranger,
that person, however sensitive and educated, never can be as close to
the situation as the parties themselves.
The parties know their own
lives and what they feel will suit each person best as they begin their
lives as separate individuals. If parties can sit down and work out
their differences so that they can decide how each person's needs will
be met, each is likely to be happier in the long run and their needs are
more likely to be served.
In any compromise, each
party will say "ouch" on one or more issues. That is the nature of
agreements. However, in Collaborative Law, the parties decide on what
issues they will compromise and the factors on which they place more
The process is different
from mediation because an impartial observer is not overseeing the
negotiations. Each party hires his or her own lawyers who advocate for
them. The difference is that the lawyers advocate in the process of
seeking to work out a settlement and not for the purpose of litigation.
Collaborative Law is a
positive step toward divorce resolution and certainly is worth
©2006, re-printed with
permission of Alice Dansker Doyle, LLC