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Not every couple that decides to end its marriage will be able to succeed in the collaborative divorce process. In fact, only California couples that are committed to working together may find the path useful, while others who struggle to find common ground with their soon-to-be ex-partners may prefer to utilize traditional divorce proceedings through the courts.

This is because collaborative divorce requires that the parties use good faith and fairness in their negotiations and agreements that are related to their divorce. Good faith and fairness are not complicated concepts, but they do require individuals to treat each other respectfully, listen to one another’s questions and concerns, actively seek resolution to matters of disagreement and provide honest and open communication with each other.

Collaborative divorces are completed without the support of judges. They are brought about through the dedicated work of the parties and their legal representatives. They happen in informal settings and on neutral ground where the parties may talk openly about matters related to their children, their property and their post-divorce financial needs. They result in agreements that outline the terms the former marital couple will abide by to ensure that their post-divorce responsibilities are met.

Not all attorneys work with clients who wish to use collaborative law to end their marriages. It is a unique form of alternative dispute resolution and individuals who want to explore how collaborative divorce may serve their end-of-marriage needs are encouraged to find legal advisers and counselors who can guide them through the various paths that lead to divorce.

Source: FindLaw, “ Collaborative Divorce: Overview,” accessed Nov. 7, 2017