Separating from a married partner or divorcing them can be extremely traumatic, not only for the couple, but for other members of the family, especially children.
Until relatively recently, the only way to resolve disputes, including the breakdown of a marriage, was to litigate, or to threaten to litigate. So for anyone living in Fulton County, Georgia, this would mean consulting with a law firm, probably an Alpharetta divorce attorney experienced in the realm of family law.
Ultimately litigation involves going to court and resolving marital issues in front of a judge. More often than not the litigation process involves a fight between the parties, and it is generally very unpleasant for all involved.
In recent years an increasing number of family law and divorce attorneys have been encouraging couples to use non-litigated dispute resolution processes. Collaborative divorce is the newest alternative to litigation, as any experienced Alpharetta collaborative divorce attorney will tell you. However, not all attorneys suggest collaborative divorce, because if it fails, the attorneys involved in the collaboration process cannot continue to represent their clients. Because of this, the argument they tend to put forward is that couples are both strategically and financially disadvantaged if their collaborative attorneys are disqualified, and they have to get new attorneys to continue the dispute resolution process in court.
How Collaborative Divorce Differs From Litigation
Essentially litigation is a form of adversarial negotiation that is finalized in court. The two divorce attorneys representing each of the two parties put forward their clients’ offers of settlement and a judge decides what is fair. At the end of the day, it is the judge who orders the parties to comply with his or her decision.
When a couple chooses to go the route of collaboration, and opts to use the services of an Alpharetta collaborative divorce attorney (or a family law attorney in another city), the whole process is driven by the couple that is separating or getting divorced rather than attorneys and judges. Other professionals, including those who can help with finances, are called in to help reduce the stress caused by the inevitable conflict that arouses during dispute resolution. Instead of fighting each other, the couple is helped through a process where they are encouraged to solve problems and come up with mutually beneficial solutions.
The collaboration process doesn’t completely rule out the need for a court judgment, but it does give the two parties an opportunity to agree on the terms and conditions of their divorce. While it definitely won’t work if the couple cannot, or will not, take part in meaningful mediation, and don’t appreciate the value of working together to resolve their differences, collaboration does offer flexibility. Because a collaborative dispute resolution process is followed, there will (or should) be a spirit of solving problems cooperatively, rather than fighting a battle. Collaborative divorce generally costs less than litigation, and the results are considerably more emotionally satisfying than running the gauntlet in a court of law.
Ultimately couples find they are able to divorce with the dignity and respect required to enable them to continue life outside of the crumbled marriage.
If you need a sympathetic, empathetic and experienced Alpharetta collaborative divorce attorney to work with you using the newest dispute resolution process, don’t hesitate to contact Waggoner Hastings.