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Blog: You Do Have Options In The Divorce Process

April 21, 2015

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For decades, Iowa has followed an adversarial divorce process, which requires filing a petition and going through the court system to conclude your marriage. Often, it results in high-conflict situations and animosity between the parties.  The traditional process can take years to complete.  Unfortunately, it is usually the children who suffer the most. However, now you have an alternative option.

The collaborative divorce process is a relatively newly endorsed process in Iowa. In the collaborative divorce process, each party retains their own attorney certified in collaborative law. The parties, with legal counsel, work together as a team to determine the best outcome for the family unit.

The benefit of the collaborative divorce process is it does not pit the spouses against each other at the outset of the case. Rather, by agreement, everyone remains focused on an amicable resolution. It allows the parties to creatively work through issues in a way that the traditional divorce process rarely does.

To maintain the credibility of the collaborative process, parties are advised, and agree up­ front, that anything said during the collaborative divorce process cannot be introduced into the court as evidence if the process breaks down. Therefore, if there is a breakdown, the collaborative attorneys and collaborative expert(s) must terminate their involvement. Each party must then proceed with new counsel and/or expert(s) of their choosing.

The collaborative divorce process affords a refreshing and alternative option for those spouses who are able to communicate and/or want something other than the traditional acrimonious process for their family.

For more information about the collaborative law process in Northwest Iowa, please refer to http://www.nwiacollaborate.org.

This blog post is authored by Roz Koob and meant for informational purposes only.  It is not meant to provide legal advice in any particular circumstance or factual situation.  You should consult with an attorney prior to taking any action regarding the information contained herein.

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