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Collaborative law offers an alternative path to divorce

Ending a marriage requires a great many decisions, especially for those in Colorado who share children. When spouses take a combative stance, the entire process is slowed, and the divorce becomes more of a battle than a mutual agreement to go down separate paths. For those who want to avoid high levels of contention and stress, collaboration offers a different approach.

Collaborative law begins with an agreement between spouses to work together to reach a divorce agreement that is acceptable by all parties. Both sides can hire their own legal counsel, but those attorneys take on the role of facilitators rather than battle commanders. Both spouses can obtain legal advice on various aspects of the divorce, such as property division or child custody. But the primary focus remains on finding solutions, not battling over every minor detail.

Collaborative divorces can result in reduced legal fees, largely because both sides are working together to resolve matters. An even more valuable effect of a collaborative divorce is the ability to model excellent conflict resolution skills to one's children. When kids see their parents working together to support their best interests, the children come away with the knowledge that they will always remain a top priority for both parents, even as the family's structure changes.

Collaboration will not be a good fit for every Colorado family. Those spouses that are already used to taking an aggressive stance with one another, or those in which abuse is an issue, are unlikely to find it possible to work together to end the union. For those who are looking for a way to reduce stress and remove the combative elements of a traditional divorce, however, collaboration might be a great choice.

Source: heraldpalladium.com, "Divorcing with dignity", Louise Wrege, April 3, 2016

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