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Friendly Collaborative Divorce In Indianapolis

divorce papers with pen and gavel

Collaborative divorce (divorce and legal separation) is a relatively new and fast-growing means of getting divorced. It is not for everyone. The parties must want to amicably divorce. Each party still has his or her own attorney. The attorneys still aggressively advocate for their clients. However, the parties pledge to do everything in their power to get divorced without going to court. This often involves the parties and their attorneys sitting down to work out the various issues in a respectful manner. If a property needs to be valued or custody determinations need to be made, the parties will work with one another to hire professionals to help with these issues.


Collaborative lawyers are trained to foster an open, polite and forthright means of communication that encourages the peaceful resolution of issues. The process is distinct from the traditional courtroom battle where the goal often becomes to “win at all costs.” The process is also distinct from mediation and/or arbitration.

The primary difference is that the parties and their attorneys have agreed to a set of ground rules as opposed to the court forcing a case into mediation. Since it is the choice of the parties to resolve their case through collaborative means, the chances of successfully doing so are considerably higher. The goal is to end up with the parties divorced, but still on the best terms possible in light of their decision to end their marriage.

Studies have shown that parties who are able to remain civil during and after the dissolution of their marriage are better able to resolve future problems amicably. Numerous studies have also shown that the negative impact of collaborative divorce on children is significantly less than those parties following the traditional divorce path.

In a collaborative divorce, both parties sign a contract wherein they agree to: open communication and mutual sharing of information critical to the case; negotiate a settlement that is mutually beneficial without using the court to decide the issues; and arrive at solutions that aim to honor the goals of both parties.

Should either or both sides break the contract by seeking court intervention, each attorney to the case must terminate his or her representation. The parties must then retain new counsel and begin the process in the traditional courtroom setting.

The Advantages Of Utilizing This Process

While some people feel they want to have their day in court, the reality is that this is typically an emotionally driven response and fighting it out in court rarely, if ever, resolves the emotional aspects of a divorce. A collaborative divorce, on the other hand, specifically addresses these issues by using the team approach to engage professionals to help find solutions. The parties often utilize divorce coaches, therapists, mental health professionals and financial specialists to help the parties resolve their various issues.

Research has shown that the collaborative law approach almost always enables the parties to resolve their case faster than the traditional divorce approach. The parties are also able to save a considerable sum of money by not having to prepare for and go through the courtroom battle.

Additionally, a great deal of private information becomes within the public’s reach in a traditional divorce. However, with collaborative divorce, the parties are able to keep their personal information private.