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Collaborative Divorce Provides A Peaceful Alternative To Litigation

Divorce is often described in adversarial terms. It’s a “battle” or a “fight.” While it’s true that the two parties going into a divorce often have reasons to dislike one another, the divorce process itself does not need to be acrimonious. Litigation is adversarial by design, so one of the best ways to achieve a peaceful divorce is to find an alternative to litigation.

When you contact Haskell Law, PC, I will take the time to explain all your divorce options, including alternative dispute resolution methods like collaborative divorce and mediation. My name is Michael Haskell, and I have over two decades of experience in family law. I have found that these alternatives often produce excellent outcomes while minimizing conflict, protecting children and preserving family relationships.

How Collaborative Divorce Works In Michigan

When a divorce is litigated, both sides present their cases, and a judge issues rulings. You are more qualified than a judge to make decisions that will greatly impact your life, and collaborative divorce allows you to do that.

You and your spouse will each be represented by an attorney, but the terms of your divorce will be entirely negotiated out of the courtroom. In fact, clients and lawyers all sign an agreement to stay out of court at the beginning of the process.

In addition to attorneys, a collaborative team may include other professionals whose jobs will be to advise and support the two parties in their particular areas of knowledge. They may be financial planners, divorce coaches or child specialists (to advise on child custody matters), to name just a few.

Rather than arguing in court, the parties will negotiate all terms directly with one another in a series of meetings. The details will be finalized in a settlement agreement, which can be kept confidential. For this reason, Collaborative Divorce is especially appealing to parties who value their privacy.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Differ From Mediation?

Both mediation and collaborative divorce involve out-of-court negotiations. In mediation, however, the spouses directly negotiate with one another, facilitated by a neutral third party. Lawyers can advise their clients, but the parties must reach an agreement on their own.

Why I Believe Strongly In This Approach

It’s important to understand at the outset how destructive litigation can be. And the destruction that occurs in litigation is something you can’t take back. With collaborative divorce, both attorneys are signed on to try to avoid that kind of destructive interaction so that you can seek a settlement that is best for the entire family.

Moreover, collaborative divorce can help you maintain your privacy and reputation, which is often a major concern of business owners, business professionals and other clients in high-asset divorce cases.

One final caveat: Collaborative divorce isn’t always the best option, and there are times when it isn’t an option at all. Litigation is sometimes necessary, and when it is, I am ready to vigorously represent your interests in court.

Contact My Firm Today To Discuss Your Legal Options

Haskell Law, PC, is based in Grand Rapids and serves clients throughout the surrounding areas of Michigan. To tell me your story and learn whether collaborative divorce may be the right approach for you, call 616-420-1522 or submit an online contact form.