More and more people are seeking an alternative to traditional divorce, and for good reason. The length of time, expense and emotional stress involved in many divorces is a difficult prospect in an already difficult time. Collaborative law or mediation can provide a welcome alternative to traditional divorce because, using either of these processes, both parties commit themselves to a fair and equitable resolution.
Jonathan D. Katz, Esq. has been practicing family law and guiding countless couples in Kingston, New Paltz, Shandaken, Wawarsing and Saugerties and throughout NY through the divorce process for over 36 years. He believes that while collaborative law and traditional mediation have some benefits, mediation process that involves legal representation and a neutral mediator is a couple’s best chance for success alternative dispute resolution.Collaborative Law Divorce Promotes Compromise, But at What Cost?
Collaborative law divorce requires each party to hire a lawyer to represent their best legal interests in divorce negotiations. If the process works well, no one goes to court. Instead, with the assistance of hired experts such as accountants, parenting consultants, business evaluators, real estate professionals, etc., the parties work through their issues in an effort to settle disputes. The final result of the collaborative law process, if successful, is a signed divorce agreement that protects both parties and provides financially for the family going forward, especially the children.
The parties sign a contract and agree to:
- Disclose all information that pertains to issues being discussed in the collaborative forum. This is done so agreements can be reached based on facts so they are reasonable, fair and can stand the test of time.
- Respect each other and make an honest effort to avoid infighting, name-calling and otherwise participating in actions that are not in the best interests of compromise.
- Protect the children. One of the biggest benefits of any dispute resolution option for divorce is that the parents attempt to do everything possible to protect the children and make decisions that will be in their best interests going forward.
- Share and pay for experts. The collaborative law process requires outside experts to be hired – with shared responsibility for costs – to assist in working out agreements regarding property, the children, finances, etc.
In all, the attempt of collaborative law divorce is to keep the matter out of court and come to a win-win solution for all members of the family. If this can happen, it’s wonderful. However, when the couple is unable to reach an agreement, collaborative law divorce can actually be considerably more expensive and time-consuming than other options.Collaborative Law Facts:
- Collaborative law is an ongoing process – it can take several sessions to complete and you will be paying for lawyers and experts during that time.
- Collaborative law divorce involves lawyers while traditional mediation promotes discussion without the benefit of legal representation.
- Collaborative law requires the couple to pay for lawyers, a mediator and a host of professionals who will assist them with making decisions regarding asset and debt distribution, the child, support, etc.
- Collaborative law divorce is non-binding. At any time, either party can walk away from the negotiations. If this happens, neither lawyer who has been involved to date can represent the parties. This means starting over and paying lawyers twice.
Attorney Jonathan D. Katz serves clients in Kingston, Saugerties, Highland, and the surrounding areas. He believes that while collaborative law divorce has its merits, it is not always the best option for divorcing spouses looking to get through the process without going to court. Instead, he believes that a better option is what he calls “ mediation.” This type of divorce allows each party to be represented by a lawyer while having all the guidance and benefits of a skilled, family law mediator.Divorce Mediation Attorney Helps Clients in Kingston, Rochester and Ulster County Protect Their Rights and Avoid Unnecessary Disputes
When divorcing couples use do-it-yourself forms to divide assets and debts and other property, arrange for spousal support and finalize child custody and visitation arrangements, there are many possible pitfalls.
Experienced family attorney Jonathan D. Katz knows that no two divorcing couples are the same. No one else has the same issues or the same personalities as you and your soon-to-be ex. Therefore, templates and forms often do not provide adequate legal guidance because they are general in nature and do not take into consideration personal circumstances.
Mr. Katz knows how to assess a case and will help you determine the most appropriate path option based on your particular situation. Peaceful negotiations are an objective of most divorce cases, however if you’re too quick to agree to a collaborative approach, you might find yourself giving up rights you’ll later wish you protected.
Instead, contact Mr. Katz today to learn more about mediation. Allow him to put his experience in family law, and specifically alternative dispute resolution for divorces, to work for your family.Contact Attorney Jonathan D. Katz to Find out Which Divorce Process Makes Sense for You
If you or someone you love is considering mediation or another alternative dispute resolution technique, contact the law offices of attorney Jonathan D. Katz to learn about certain considerations that will bear heavily on your decision. If you live in Saugerties, Highland, Rochester, New Paltz, Kingston or anywhere else in Ulster or surrounding counties, contact Mr. Katz today for a no-cost, confidential consultation.