In the United States, divorce currently terminates one out of two first marriages, two out of three second marriages and nearly three out of four third marriages. At any given time, there’s a good chance at least one couple among your clients is contemplating or already moving toward divorce. That often leads to a financial disadvantage or even disaster for one or both parties, undoing your good work for the couple.
Fortunately for many unhappy clients, a more harmonious option has become increasingly popular around the country. It’s based on collaborative practice, a process that has been applied to settle grudges between street gangs, wrangling between businesses and even disputes between nations. Productive rather than destructive, it’s also used to resolve probate matters, business matters, malpractice cases, employment issues and environmental matters, too.
As a means of reaching agreement between a divorcing couple, collaborative practice “provides you and your spouse or partner with the support and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court,” according to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). By allowing both spouses to draw on the expertise of financial, mental health and child specialists who work with them and their attorneys as a team, it serves as a non-adversarial mechanism for dealing with differences and disputes.