Does the manner in which a divorce is approached affect its outcome? Specifically, do collaborative divorce options yield a better outcome?
With the advocacy of an experienced family law attorney, an individual can rest assured that his or her interests are being protected in a divorce. That being said, I have been trained in divorce mediation and other collaborative approaches for years, and I have seen the benefit to couples both financially and emotionally. As I mention on my website, studies suggest that mediated agreements may encourage not only compliance, but also more cooperation in the event that modifications are needed down the road.
For example, when a couple will have to maintain interactions after their divorce, as in the case of co-parenting, approaching a divorce in a spirit of cooperation can prepare parents for the logistics of a visitation agreement. When there are kids involved, options like divorce mediation can also help minimize conflict and spare kids from seeing further fighting between their parents. In a recent example, actors Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announced their intention to use the mediation process in their divorce, presumably with their kids’ interests in mind.
Each state may have its own specific requirements, but in Maryland, the divorce mediation process involves a neutral facilitator. That professional does not represent either party, but instead will attempt to help a couple find areas of agreement. Notably, an individual is not required to accept any proposals from the mediator. In addition, I would not recommend that an individual goes into divorce mediation alone. With an attorney, an individual can have another set of eyes review a proposed settlement for its fairness.
Source: Fashion & Style, ” Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck End 10-Year Marriage; Couple Will Continue Living Together,” July 1, 2015