Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Collaborative divorce another option for Utah divorcees

Divorce has a reputation for being emotionally, financially, and in some cases physically difficult. While much of this has to do with the feelings with which couples are dealing during the course of a divorce, a good portion of the blame may lay with the divorce system. Modern divorce is commonly thought of as an adversarial process, made all the more so when parties hire attorneys for the purpose of taking revenge on their behalf. Flaws in the current divorce model have prompted some states to adopt a different type of divorce procedure.

Collaborative divorces had been in existence for years prior to one actress's now famous uncoupling announcement. This new path of divorce combines positive aspects from various techniques currently used in traditional divorces. The method approaches divorce as something the parties should work through together, but it differs from mediation in that both sides have attorneys advising them of their rights and options. Since 2009, couples in states that have enacted collaborative divorce laws have been using this alternative divorce method to better work through their divorces in a less combative manner.

Residents of Salt Lake City are fortunate as Utah and a handful of others states are currently the only states to have enacted provisions enabling collaborative divorces. Attorneys and couples who decide to pursue a collaborative divorce must adhere to certain guidelines. Both parties must sign a participation agreement prior to starting the process and court proceedings are held off until all issues are resolved between the parties. The parties' legal counselors also sign a contract which bars them from representing either party in future family law matters.

Collaborative divorce is relatively new legally, but the idea of divorcing couples working together to end their marriage has been around for decades. As more collaborative-type ideas arise, maybe one day divorce will lose its negative stigma.

Source: Inquisitr, "Collaborative Divorce Continues To Spread In The USA - Welcomed By Stress Ridden Divorcees," June 29, 2014

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