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March 2013 Archives

Uniting in Divorce: A Look at Collaboration Family Law

Divorce will change your family structure. There is no getting around this fact. There are alternatives to traditional divorce litigation in court, however. One such alternative is collaborative divorce. In collaborative divorce, the spouses enlist the help of skilled professionals such as attorneys, therapists, mediators, and financial experts to collaborate and work together toward a fair resolution. This progressive means of handling divorce focuses on maintaining a civil and positive atmosphere, as opposed to pitting spouses against one another as opponents. The spouses and experts meet together to reach agreements regarding all issues in the case, including property division, support, and child custody. By focusing on problem solving and negotiating, collaborative law can be far less stressful than traditional litigation.

A Roadmap for Divorce: Separation Agreements

Want to make your divorce easier? Create a marital separation agreement. This agreement is an official, written agreement between you and your spouse. In the agreement, you each agree to specific matters of the settlement process. Examples of such matters include spousal support, child custody, and division of assets. Having these items clearly defined in writing makes the divorce easier because it puts you and your spouse on the same page. There will be considerably less uncertainty in the settlement if you have both decided the issues in writing. You will not, for example, wonder how much alimony is expected or how long those payments are expected to continue.

Taking the Sting Out of Divorce

If you can compromise with your spouse, uncontested divorce could be a path worth taking. An uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses are able to resolve the issues in their divorce such as financial matters and child custody. In an uncontested divorce, the judge may not even hear your case. Rather, you may file the necessary forms by mail or through limited contact with the judge or clerk of court. Uncontested divorce allows you to minimize or avoid time in court. In doing so, you and your spouse can save a considerable amount financially, because you will not need to pay your attorneys to prepare for and proceed in court to the degree that is necessary in a contested divorce. Instead, you and your spouse would simply review the divorce issues yourselves and hammer out an agreement that you could each live with. Your lawyers could then put your agreement in writing and file it with the court.

Progressivism in Action: Domestic Partnerships

California is a state that has consistently been distinguished by an independent, progressive spirit. It is no coincidence that the "Golden State" is a place where issues such as environmental conservation, medical marijuana, and the rights of gays and lesbians are openly debated. Such issues may be controversial, but in California at least, the public is willing to discuss them and potentially arrive at solutions.

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William A. Feinberg 1928 - 2001

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