While the decision to file for divorce is never easy, it does not need to be adversarial or emotionally damaging to one another, nor does it need to be financially detrimental. Many former spouses have chosen to dissolve their marriage using the cooperative strategy of Collaborative Divorce which supports the needs of the family’s children and reduces or eliminates expensive court costs and lengthy court battles. This can create a healthier transition for individuals and their children entering a new phase of life.
Collaborative Divorce Law is the process by which equally-represented parties, assisted by attorneys, maintain control of their situation by working together to resolve conflict and make decisions that impact their family, instead of giving that control to the court.
The Collaborative Divorce process utilizes a team approach which requires both spouses to cooperate with full disclosure on all issues. Each party is represented by their attorney. It is the goal of the parties and their respective counsel to work together towards a settlement which supports the overall welfare of the family moving forward from divorce. This process promotes and maintains cooperation and civility rather than the litigious and adversarial tactics designed to keep the case in front of the judge. As such, the parties find that they can move towards an amicable resolution as they maintain control of their situation. Couples must provide the necessary documents and other information to aid in the process. When necessary, experts are retained jointly by both spouses.
However, if a settlement cannot be achieved through the collaborative process, the parties’ attorneys withdraw, and the parties are free to find other attorneys to represent them in the traditional divorce process.
Collaborative Divorce can a viable alternative to traditional divorce process, provided everyone involved is committed to honest disclosure and cooperation. Our legal team will be happy to speak with you to determine if your case would be a good candidate for the collaborative process.
Experience and Compassion count when it comes to Child Custody
Our legal team provides compassionate legal counsel with regard our client’s child custody matters during a collaborative divorce. We understand that child custody is often one of the most difficult issues to resolve. When determining child custody and the residential schedule that is in a child’s best interests, the court looks at many factors, such as:
- Which parent has been the child’s primary caregiver
- The parenting functions performed by each parent historically
- Each parent’s home environment
- The parenting ability of each parent, as well as their ability to provide for the child’s special needs, if any
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- Whether either parent has an issue with drugs or alcohol
- Whether there has been domestic violence the home, or the home of either parent
- The parent’s work schedules and childcare plans of each parent
- The child’s relationships with brothers, sisters, and members of the rest of the family
Our experienced legal team can help divorcing parents achieve a residential schedule that is in the best interest of the children, often through process of mediation, which avoids the stress and uncertainty of trial.
Should litigation become necessary to protect our clients’ rights, however, we will go to court to vigorously and zealously advocate on behalf of our clients’ interests.
Experience on Your Side
Chris Maharry has been practicing family law in the South Sound since 2003 and brings nearly two decades of experience with the collaborative law process. We understand that as families reorganize, it can be a challenging and difficult time. It is our goal to bring our clients through the process with efficiency, effectiveness, compassion and cost-sensitivity.
Area of Coverage
We serve clients in the Collaborative Divorce process including mediation and arbitration throughout the Pierce, Kitsap, South King, and Thurston County areas.