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Resolution Matters

Do Both Parties Need An Attorney If The Collaborative Approach To Divorce Is The Best Option?

Yes, I don’t know any collaborative model that suggests that an attorney would not be necessary for both parties.  A key component of the collaborative approach is having the attorneys giving up their right to litigate the case if it doesn’t settle.  I think there are occasions when parties can negotiate, and I would suggest that this is true for any model that the parties may choose that the better the communication is between the parties, the more small agreements that they could reach on their own, the more that they could begin to establish communication models, then the parties will benefit themselves going forward in their parenting and it’s going to support them as they negotiate a marital separation agreement.  And it’s just going to help them to process this difficult period that they’re going through.

If you can work through and get some partial agreements on your own, you may not need as many legal hours to negotiating the same issue.

How Can The Collaborative Process To Divorce Save People Money And Time?

The collaborative process can save money and time if you compare it to a litigated case, a court case.  A collaborative case at its fullest is not an inexpensive endeavor but the benefit and the value speak for themselves.  So you may say if you’re looking at it on a cost of money basis that the collaborative is going to be comparable to less than a full-blown litigation and appeal, (note: it will cost more than mediation) but I’d say in the long run, the investment in developing this integrated solution that takes the interest of all the parties, husband and wife and the children, into place, will pay off dividends for the family.

When is Litigating Divorce Matters In Maryland Or DC Right For A Divorcing Couple?

My initial reaction to any family matter that winds up in court is that it never should if you have the right professionals working with them and talking them through to settlement.  But clearly, there are, let’s say, some cases of domestic violence or other serious abuse type situations where it may be necessary to get restraining orders and it may be that you just have one party, one spouse, parent who can’t be near each other, they can’t talk with one another but even then, if they have attorneys, most cases settle anyway even if you have begun litigating and going through discovery. Yes, I think most cases should be able to settle out of court but maybe there’s a very few but mostly because of a domestic violence or very serious abuse type situations that may need the Court to assist in the resolution.

Should Litigating Divorce Matters Or Child Custody Matters Always Be The Last Option To Resolving These Matters?

Litigation should always be the last option.  The commitment to the family, the commitment to the children, the commitment to yourself recognizing that by working through your differences and having these difficult conversations now are not only a cost benefit but they’re an emotional benefit later on.  Whatever someone thinks is so important and that they’re so injured, let’s take the case of an affair and one spouse is deeply injured about that, then there’s a cooling off period.  I am not saying that you’ll ever recover necessarily, I think most people do, but litigation is still not the way to respond to that.  It may be that there’s a little bit of leverage you have, as we discussed in paying alimony or spousal support, it could be a factor.  So no, I do not think that it should be the last option but there are many, many options that come before it.

What Exactly Is Mediation In A Divorce Setting Or Handling Other Family Law Matters Such As Custody Or Even Spousal Support?

The divorce mediation is comprehensive when a couple comes to me for mediation, if there are children, it is also an integrative approach to settling the entire divorce matter.  At the end of the day, we will have drafted a separation agreement covering child support, spousal support if applicable, the distribution of assets, how conflicts/disputes will be responded to, taxes/deductions, and every element in the agreement. The mediation approach tones down the emotions and it creates an environment for direct and honest communication. Mediation creates an environment for people feeling heard and feel the sense of being gotten in who they are and why something is important to them. Mediation allows for an appropriate give-and-take at any sense of negotiation where the mediator can help not only to try to work through to find a resolution but really coaching each side to be their best and what they need to do to get the best results out of the process. The mediator’s also serving as a coach in that respect and working with each side to be aware of the totality of the circumstances and not just solely focused on their individual needs.

I spend a fair amount of time focusing on what’s called interests and understanding and listening to each other’s interests.  As this evolves and we move through the process, interests may change.  But ideally at the core, let’s say it’s the parenting issue or the financial issue, you know there’s something that’s driving underneath it and it’s important for each spouse to be able to hear and really listen and feel heard by the other spouse maybe in some ways that they weren’t even listening during the marriage.  I like to use a Japanese pottery metaphor called Kintsugi.  Kintsugi is an art form where cracked  pottery is repaired with gold inlay and becomes more valuable after the cracked vase is sealed together as compared to before it cracked. The gold inlay is what I view as the qualities of compassion and caring even in the divorce to bring this cracked pot back together so maybe it actually look better than what it did before. This result leads to something that they could hold for each other as they move into the future . . . we have the makings of a vision for what we’re going to become as this new blended family or divorced couple.

For more information on Family Law In Maryland, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 795-2444 today.

Steve Shapiro, Esq.

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