In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, Michigan courtrooms have suspended non-emergency in-person operations. While all of us attempt to navigate our new normal and manage our daily lives remotely, couples facing a divorce have an additional obstacle: their desire to dissolve the marriage and move on with their lives is now being delayed due to restricted court access and shelter in place directives. One solution to this problem is for parties to choose a Collaborative Divorce.
Collaborative law refers to the process of removing disputes from the “fight and win” setting of a courtroom into a “troubleshoot and problem solve” setting of a conference room, completely outside of the courtroom. In fact, parties can finalize their entire divorce before the complaint for divorce is even filed! When parties choose a Collaborative Divorce, they are agreeing at the onset to stay out of court, to voluntarily provide full disclosure of financial information and to negotiate in good faith. Parties use mediation and negotiation principles, with the assistance of collaboratively trained attorneys, to manage and settle their divorce.
A Collaborative Divorce is also a good option when minor children are involved because with a Collaborative Divorce, there is a greater emphasis on limiting the amount of impact the divorce process will have on the parties’ children. Parents can create an environment that allows them to keep their children’s experience as best it can be. Rather than having parents fight each other – such as testifying in court against each other, the parents stay out of court and focus their time, energy and resources on resolving conflicts and achieving their predetermined goals through a series of 4-way meetings – which can be done easily and efficiently through the use of video conferencing such as Zoom.
There are many benefits to a Collaborative Divorce, such as limiting the negative fallout that often affects children. More importantly, it allows a couple to move forward, settle and finalize their divorce without being delayed due to limited court availability during the pandemic.
If you need to move forward with a divorce and you want to learn more about the Collaborative Divorce Process and whether this is a good option for you and your family, please contact me at (248)-647-7900.