This post is the second in a four part series on litigated divorce, collaborative divorce, and divorce mediation. If you haven’t already read part 1, I recommend you do before continuing.

Benefits of effective conflict management in outcomes for children (continued)

Unfortunately, conflict is an inevitable part of human nature, and certainly an inevitable part of family life. With this in mind, if we want to ensure the best possible outcomes for children through divorce, we must manage conflict as effectively as possible.

Three people sit together working on a collaborative divorce

Alternative approaches to family law disputes

In the last few decades, a variety of approaches to resolving family law disputes that avoid the courtroom have been developed. These approaches focus on voluntary participation, collaboration, and mediation to solve problems, rather than forced arbitration or litigation. Let’s take a look at some of these approaches:

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is an idea hatched in the United States in the late 80s, but its roots can be traced back further to what Nester C. Kohut called “therapeutic family law” in the 1960s. Collaborative divorce has seen a steady rise in popularity since its inception, and is now practiced across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. One reason why collaborative divorce has been such a widespread success is that it lightens the burden on the family court system, and therefore its expansion has been encouraged by judiciaries across the western world. Nowadays, over 22,000 lawyers around the world are trained in collaborative law.

A collaborative divorce begins with an agreement, entered into voluntarily by both parties, to resolve their disputes without litigation. This is called a participation agreement or disqualification agreement. This agreement binds the parties to the collaborative process to an extent, but, more importantly, it binds their attorneys. If the former couple later decides to abandon the collaborative process and instead pursue litigation, they will both need to find new representation first.

Check back soon for Let’s take this outside – resolving disputes out of court through collaborative divorce and divorce mediation, part 3