When we find ourselves in a hole, the first thing we need to do is stop digging.
When a couple divorces, the marriage ends but often the relationship doesn’t. If they have kids, they’ll share the same graduations, weddings and grandchildren. Families facing the challenges of divorce benefit greatly from choosing a process focused on solutions rather than blame because it will helps them work towards a peaceful transition to their new normal.
In collaborative divorce
In a collaborative divorce both parties are represented by an attorney trained in collaborative law and we agree upfront that we are not going to court. In this process the parties and their attorneys meet as a group and work together to identify the goals and values important to each person and the issues to be addressed. These values are the things that everyone agrees is important to the family moving forward and they provide us with a touchstone to come back to in difficult conversations. In our collaborative meetings we work to ensure that everyone comes out of the process in a place that is financial and emotional stable. We also recognize that signing the final papers is a big step but it is not the last step in this transition. We take the time to discuss practical issues like effective communication between parents, budgeting for children’s needs and how to introduce new people to the children when that situation arises.
Collaborative law provides clients with the tools they need to resolve their differences honestly and respectfully, so they can move forward with their lives.
Mediation is another alternative for couples seeking divorce to avoid court. As a mediator I act as a neutral facilitator. The couple may be represented by an attorney or they may come to mediation on their own. The goals of mediation are the same as collaborative divorce, to help couples find a resolution that honors the values and meets the needs of their family. Mediation may be done in one meeting or over a couple sessions depending on what the clients need. Since I am acting as a neutral our Iowa rules of ethics don’t allow me to prepare the court documents. At the end of the session I will prepare a mediated agreement that the couple can either use to fill out the court provided forms or they may choose to use a drafting attorney to prepare the necessary paperwork for them.