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Collaborative divorce: right for some, but not for all

The executive director of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin recently wrote an opinion piece for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in which he urged residents of Milwaukee and other Wisconsin cities to consider a means of separating to which they may not have previously given much thought -- collaborative divorce. While there are benefits to collaborative divorce, there are drawbacks as well. Any Milwaukee resident who is thinking of separating with a spouse would do well to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of collaborative divorce, which will be briefly outlined here.

Collaborative divorce is somewhat similar to divorce mediation in that the objective is a parting of ways that is as easy as possible on the family as whole. Collaborative divorce incorporates the services of financial professionals, who try to help a couple reach a fair and just property division agreement that is in accord with the law, and therapists and relationship experts, who address emotional needs. This gentle and holistic approach is just the right fit for some people.

But as you can tell, involving that many professionals in one process can get quite expensive. Another drawback is that if the collaboration fails, your attorney may not be able to represent you if the divorce goes to litigation - shouldn't people be allowed to choose whichever representation they wish? Lastly, while no one likes fighting, it is just a fact that sometimes a fair-but-firm stance is necessary in a divorce, and collaborative law setup may not provide that.

Have you had experience with either type of divorce? Do you think collaborative divorce is a viable option, or do you think it really only works for a few rare couples?

Source: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "A better way in divorce process," Brian H. Jensen, Sept. 15, 2011

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