At Andalman & Flynn, our divorce attorneys are often asked, “Why is the Collaborative Law process better than litigation for many divorcing couples and their children?” Collaborative Law is a respectful and dignified means of negotiating a settlement of all issues relating to your separation and divorce, such as custody, visitation, child support, alimony, and division of property. Below are reasons why Maryland residents have chosen the Collaborative Law process.
Less Likely to End Up in Court Now or Repeatedly
Whenever I successfully conclude a Collaborative Law Case for a divorcing couple, I always have a great feeling of satisfaction. Although I know that neither spouse walks away feeling as if he or she had a big “win” over the other, I also know that each spouse believes that the Agreement reached is fair, involving some well-thought-out compromises on both sides. Reaching a Marital Settlement Agreement on all issues resulting from a separation and divorce is hard work. It also requires the commitment of both spouses to speak openly and treat the other person fairly and honestly. As such I find it is much less likely that a spouse will violate the Agreement, sue for modification of Custody or Child Support (two issues that are always legally available for modification), or file for an Appeal (which could take years before there is a resolution) when the Agreement has been reached through the Collaborative Law Process.
Allows Future Co-Parenting to be a Reality
Often I find that, when a case has been litigated through the Courts and all or some of the decisions have been made and ordered by a Judge (who doesn’t have the benefit of knowing the parties or their children), even before the ink is dry on the Judgment of Divorce, one or both of the spouses is/are seeking legal counsel about further litigation on how to modify the Judgment of Divorce, force the other spouse to comply with the Judgment of Divorce or seek an Appeal. Further, almost always by the time the spouses have gone through the court process of deposing one another, subpoenaing documents of the other person’s business and financial records, and arguing that the other person is stealing marital assets and/or isn’t a fit parent to have sole or joint custody, there is slim hope of future civility between the spouses, making it more difficult for everyone to move forward with their lives. By the time the trial has ended and the Judge is rendering his or her decisions on property, support, and the children’s schedule, the divorcing spouses are bitter enemies, pointing fingers at one another as to why they each have huge litigation costs, and their outlooks for the future are tainted by the ugliness of their litigation.
The Spouses Are and Remain in Control
The Collaborative Law Process is a far better way than litigation to terminate a marriage, regardless of how long the marriage lasted, whether there are simple or complicated property issues and whether there is conflict regarding any children involved. Through the Collaborative Law Process, the spouses themselves mutually decide what issues are important to resolve and in what order those issues should be addressed. Also, by meeting together with two attorneys to discuss their thoughts, concerns, and ideas in a meaningful way, the spouses become comfortable being in the same room as the other, communicating with one another, and learning to co-parent as parents living apart. What better gift could divorcing parents give their children! Even if no minor children are involved, the divorcing spouses will walk away from a success through the Collaborative Process, not with a feeling of “gotcha” or “I won!” but instead with a feeling that he/she treated the former spouse fairly, and vice versa, and they have come to a fair Agreement while under the guidance and advice of legal counsel.
Is the Collaborative Law Process Right for You?
If you would like to learn more about the Collaborative Law Process and see if it is right for your situation, contact Mary Ellen Flynn at [email protected] or 301-563-6685. Even if your separation and divorce turns out to not be appropriate for the Collaborative Law Process, Mary Ellen Flynn and her experienced team of Andalman & Flynn Family Law Attorneys are available to help you with one of the many other negotiation or litigation options we use for the benefit of our family law clients every day.
Schedule a Consultation with Maryland Divorce Lawyers
We know how complex and sensitive matters involving divorce and children can be, and we want to make sure your children’s best interests are well taken care of as they begin a new way of life. The Collaborative Law process puts you and your spouse in charge of the decision-making in your separation, allowing you both to develop appropriate solutions for your unique needs and circumstances. We can assist you in resolving your divorce and resulting legal matters in court or through alternative means of resolution.
To set up a consultation with our experienced divorce attorneys, contact our legal team for a consultation.