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Collaborative divorce gaining support in Connecticut

Divorce is never easy. Child custody, spousal support and property division are common divorce issues that need to be addressed. One way to settle these points of contention is through litigation, but most people want to avoid that situation. Collaborative divorce might be the better route to take when seeking a divorce that satisfies both parties' wishes.

This kind of divorce was first used in Connecticut approximately 12 years ago. Collaborative divorce means that each divorcing party gets help from an attorney, but instead of taking the divorce to court, the parties work out the divorce settlement using the services of financial planners and other professionals. The divorcing spouses then come to an agreement on divorce issues without a long, drawn-out legal battle.

In divorces that use mediators, the parties each state what they want and try to come to a mutual decision. When an issue comes up that the parties can't agree on, the divorce usually moves to litigation. In a collaborative divorce, the professionals listen to, as well as advise on, issues pertaining to child support, division of assets and other subjects that often become major conflicts in the divorce process.

When divorcing spouses have a chance to talk to each other about their individual concerns, divorce settlements are often easier on everyone involved, including the children. Having legal professionals present can also help keep expectations reasonable, as well as prevent the divorcing parties from becoming emotionally overwhelmed.

Whether Connecticut residents seek divorce through the collaborative process, mediation or litigation, they need to be sure they have an attorney that will look out for their best interests.

Source: Hartford Courant, "Divorce, Collaborative Style," Anne M. Hamilton, Sept. 27, 2012

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