Collaborative or cooperative divorce is a process available under Washington law that allows two spouses to work together with their lawyers to reach an agreement on all of the issues in their divorce that is acceptable to both of them. Lawyers involved in collaborative divorces have special training in mediation that makes the involvement of a separate mediator unnecessary. The overall goal of collaborative divorce is resolve a divorce without having to battle your divorce out in court proceedings.
In order for collaborative divorce to be successful, both spouses must be willing and able to enter into the collaborative divorce process in good faith, with willingness to compromise, and with the objective of avoiding court proceedings. You must be honest, set aside any feelings of resentment toward your spouse, and genuinely want to resolve your divorce in an amicable manner. You have to keep an open mind and actually listen to what your spouse is saying.
Collaborative lawyers are there to facilitate discussions between the spouses and make suggestions about how to resolve their disputed issues. The lawyers provide the structure for the discussion and gently guide both spouses into discussing the important issues related to their divorce. To the extent that other professionals are needed, such as appraisers to place value on property, family counselors to make recommendations about your child, or accountants to help with financial issues, they will be available to you and your spouse as you work through the pertinent issues.
We know how difficult and complicated divorce cases can be, especially when they involve complex issues like child custody, child support, and property division. Whether you are able to participate in the cooperative divorce process or need to pursue a more traditional route to divorce, contact Pacific Northwest Family Law today and we will show you how we can help. Our attorneys focus their practice primarily on family law, so we are sure to have the skills that you need for proper representation in your Washington divorce case. We are here to answer all of your questions, calm your concerns, and help you through the often difficult process of contested divorce and family law cases.