You have the choice in the way that you handle your divorce case. Your choice may be different than the one your mom took, your brother or your best friend.
Your choices will direct how your divorce is processed. So will you take a path that leads to conflict or will you choose a path that will work towards resolution of your problems? Only you can decide what choice is best for you.
Trial Court (+): There are parents who walk into family court simply because they do not know any other way of resolving their issues. Most parents who engage the family law courts in their divorce cases believe that is their BEST approach to resolving the issues at hand. Hiring the most aggressive attorneys that money can buy makes parents believe that they will have the highest probability of a certain outcome. Family courts in fact offer a certain finality and a way for parents to express their concerns and complaints about the other parent. Family law courts are efficient in resolving high conflict cases where there is little to no chance that the parties can resolve their differences amicably.
Trial Court (-) Parents who resolve disputes inside the courtroom find themselves GOING BACK to resolve future conflict. Cease fire periods exist when parents need time to gather the finances to pay for the next legal proceeding.
Collaborative Law (+) allows parents 1. the benefits of resolving their disputes OUTSIDE of the courthouse. Parents are able to communicate with one another under the direction of their attorney, and divorce coach. The benefits of the collaborative process provide the divorcing parent 2. a quality working relationship AFTER the divorce has been finalized.
Collaborative (-) is seen by many parents as something that is outside of their price range. The biggest drawback is that is perceived as a ALL OF NOTHING approach because if you can not reach an agreement on EVERY issue you start over again. Proponents of collaborative law will tell you that ALL OR NOTHING approach is what motivates settlement.
Team Based Approach: (+) Allows attorneys and mental health professionals the ability to intervene and problem solve BEFORE a case has to be resolved inside a courtroom. The team based approach fits in between the conflict and collaborative practices of law. A team based approach provides an efficient way of resolving problems and identifying actual issues that need to be resolved in court of law.
Team Based (-): Be careful before you engage into a team based approach. 1. High conflict attorneys will “agree to be involved” in the team based model SOLELY for the purpose of securing the best facts possible when they present their case in court. 2. Certain Mental Health Professionals will be unwilling to lose their role as ADVOCATE and therefore be disruptive in helping parents find ways to resolve their divorce in a peaceful, constructive manner.
- Why are you involved in Conflict? It is certainly true that certain cases have to be tried in front of a family law judge over at the courthouse. It is also true that the greater majority of family law cases are resolved prior to trial.
- A wiser choice? So….If you know that most cases are going to be resolved amicably, WHY are you going to automatically take your divorce case to a family law court? High conflict disputes do not help create a beneficial relationship between you and your ex AFTER the divorce. You should start considering whether or not a team based or collaborative approach would be better option.
Start at Square One before you make your choice…
Why are you here? Remember that parents often fall into conflict because of three basic things: 1. Failure to be flexible, 2. Failure to filter and 3. The need to fight fight fight. Parents need help from time to time with learning effective communication techniques.
Parents should be looking for ways to solve their problem and not create more issues for themselves and their children. Mental health professionals should be allowed to do what they are truly trained for, which is to help provide therapeutic relief. While parents may want to put their best foot forward, the mhp can intercede and provide the honest advice that both parents need to help solve their problem. The mhp in the collaborative and team based approach helps the parents come up with solutions to their problem.
YOU have the information you needed. Remember to apply what you have learned. Always think of yourself as a parent and not a litigant. Make the best decision, come out on top and place your child first and away from unnecessary conflict.