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How can collaborative law help?

Many people have a stereotype of the divorce process being extremely adversarial, with both parties out to get each other. While this may be true in some situations, it doesn't have to be the case. Making use of the collaborative process can help take some of the stress out of the situation and make it easier for parents to come to an agreement about child custody issues.

Whether or not the parents are able to reach a resolution to custody issues largely hinges on how well they can communicate and how much they disagree. If the parents agree on most of the custody arrangement but have some differences over the finer points of a visitation schedule, for example, it may be much easier to use the collaborative process to reach a resolution than if both parents were dead set on having sole custody.

Even during a collaborative process, it's important for each party to have their own counsel to look out for their best interests. It's not always easy to know whether something is reasonable or unreasonable when you are in the midst of the situation, but an experienced third party can give a fresh perspective.

It's important to understand that even after you and your ex agree on a custody issue and have a written arrangement it still has to be sent to the courts for final approval. In most cases, the judge will approve something both parents have agreed on, but in rare instances, the judge may rule that the agreement is unfair. If this happens, a family law attorney can help you understand what the next steps are.

Source: FindLaw, "Working Together to Resolve Custody," accessed July 17, 2015

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