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.
When we work collaboratively rather than combatively, we learn the importance of accountability and transparency in rebuilding trust and maintaining relationships. We learn how to shift our focus from anger and blame to a fair and mutually beneficial solution. And we learn how to solve future problems that may arise, making life easier, better and more peaceful for all involved.
Divorce is much more than just a legal issue. The divorce decree is one piece of the puzzle but there are non-legal issues that come into play as well. Collaborative divorce is a team approach that utilizes additional professionals to ensure a holistic solution for the family. The team will include the collaborative attorneys, a divorce coach, financial neutral and child specialist as needed. This approach does not mean a higher cost. The size of the divorce “pie” doesn’t change, it is just divided differently. By using the right expert for each issue we can help clients get to a better solution more efficiently. Each spouse will hire their own attorney but the cost of the other team members is split between the spouses. We will sign a separate Collaborative Participation Agreement with your spouse and their counsel that will provide specific guidelines for this process. Collaborative divorce is an hourly rate service.
In this Limited Scope Representation I will handle all aspects of the case through settlement, but I will not represent you in court. All divorces in central Iowa are required to go to mediation and more than 95% of them reach settlement through this process. While not as in depth as a collaborative divorce, this “cooperative” approach allows couples to work through their differences without going to court. of This option includes the drafting of all necessary documents as well as mediation. Settlement divorce is an hourly rate service.
Kitchen Table Divorce (Unbundled Services)
A kitchen table divorce is for clients who have already come to an agreement, or are confident they can come to agreement on their own, but need assistance with the preparation of forms. This is a flat fee service that covers the drafting of all necessary paperwork from the petition to the final decree. If a QDRO is necessary to divide retirement assets that will be an additional fee.
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. Mediation may be done in one meeting or over a couple sessions depending on what the needs of the couple. When I serve as a mediator I am not allowed to prepare the court documents under our Iowa rules. 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.