Most divorce and other family law cases are settled before going to trial.
If you and your spouse have divorce issues to resolve, we believe collaborative divorce is the best process for resolving those issues. However, if you and your spouse have already agreed to all the issues in your case, collaborative divorce is not for you.
All divorces have basic legal requirements so it is always preferable to hire an attorney in any divorce case. Someone must file a petition for divorce with the court, notify the other spouse as required by law and finalize the divorce by providing the judge with the required testimony and a written order called a Final Decree of Divorce. When all requirements have been met, the judge signs the final decree and the parties are divorced.
The final decree is the document that states which party is awarded each item of property (house, cars, bank accounts) and who pays each debt. If the parties have minor children, the decree also states all the rules related to custody, possession, child support and medical support for those children. If you have children, you can expect that your final decree will be at least 70 pages long.
Typically, the most difficult step in any divorce case is deciding what will be in the Final Decree of Divorce.
Some couples are able to settle these issues between themselves without assistance. More often they require the help of attorneys and mediators and sadly, sometimes they go to trial and let a judge decide. We believe collaborative divorce is the best process for reaching agreements about all the issues that will be contained in your final decree. Collaborative divorce helps the spouses develop creative solutions and results in a final decree containing terms suited best to that individual family.