I?m starting this blog to articulate something I believe in strongly ? that divorce should not be fought in a courtroom. I have been practicing family law for over 25 years and have witnessed first- hand what happens when divorce becomes about winning and losing rather than trying to seek common ground.
Courtroom battles can be long, costly, time consuming and they can be taxing emotionally. Even worse, ?they can do incredible damage to formerly married couples who still must co-exist and cooperate as parents. Far too often, children are the ones who feel the long-term effects of adversarial divorces.
That?s why I?ve made the conscious decision to offer my clients options like Collaborative Law, mediation, and even reconciliation ? and to specifically identify those services as non-adversarial. My goal for each and every client is to first determine whether divorce really is the best option, and if it is, to identify what?s needed in a resolution and how best to get there without falling into the litigation mind-set.
Collaborative Law and mediation are less adversarial than litigation, and allow for more collaboration, creativity and autonomy in determining the best settlement. Pursuing a non-adversarial route doesn?t mean that you have to give up hopes of getting what you want in a settlement. Just because I choose not to fight in a courtroom doesn?t mean I don?t fight for each and every client ? it?s merely that the strategy I employ is different and it is less destructive that traditional litigation.
Being outside the courtroom means the divorcing parties get to find out what?s most important to them and what solutions can work. It allows for creativity, and the solution stays within the divorcing parties? hands ? whereas, in a courtroom battle, the lawyer has to fight from the outset, hoping that the judge will rule a particular way. The divorcing parties don?t have control over the decision in court, and if the courtroom battle gets nasty, the divorcing couple might find themselves having to repair the damage done while trying to co-parent.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you about non-adversarial divorce in this blog, and welcome any questions or comments you might have. They might even spark future blog articles!