The majority of our clients don’t start out friendly. But, for most couples, a friendly (or at least a friendlier) divorce is possible. As we see it, when a couple has children, divorce is a process of family restructuring: the marriage ends, but husband and wife remain Mom and Dad. It is their task to transition from living in one house to two and eventually become Grandma and Grandpa to the same babies. When a couple has no children they still need a forum for cooperative problem solving in order to divide their property and finances; make shifts in their physical, social, and psychological lives; prepare the necessary court paperwork; and move positively into the next phase of their lives.
Our problem-solving philosophy differs from the tenets of adversarial divorce. We know that collaborative or traditional attorney-driven divorces are right for some families. This is the way to go if you or your spouse needs legal protection. For example, if you are unaware of what the marital assets are or how much your spouse earns, you may want a divorce attorney to investigate all of these details before agreeing to any financial arrangements. Additionally, if you or your spouse feels intimidated as the result of domestic violence or coercion, negotiating without a divorce lawyer is a bad idea. On the other hand, we also know that when people are emotionally vulnerable and feeling betrayed, rejected, and frightened, it’s easy to fall into the downward spiral of an attorney-driven divorce. And, so many couples are poorly served by a legal process that treats divorce, which we see as a major life transition, as if it was just another law suit.
If you and your spouse are good candidates for A Friendly Divorce you will agree that:
- You don’t want to spend your financial resources on two attorneys whose focus is arguing over dividing whatever is left,
- Your kids shouldn’t become entangled in a legal war zone, and
- You don’t want to get stuck in mushrooming conflict for years to come.