The divorce process can make you feel out of control, unable to determine your own destiny and that of your children. Many people can influence the end result, and a judge can change everything from one day to the next.
Why Choose Mediation or Collaborative Divorce
When you agree to engaging resources to mediate or engage in collaborative divorce, you are actually taking some control of the process and the outcome. If you actively participate with a mediator or a collaborative attorney, they can offer options such as counseling, seeking financial advice and obtaining skills training that will help you and the other parties resolve the matter with integrity and fairness.
If you choose to go through the litigation process, you will spend time and money with your respective lawyers and then a judge will decide the case. In most cases, the decision will be based on the facts and the laws in the state – not necessarily what you or the other parties want as an outcome.
I had a client who had been married for five years and had one child. They were knocking on the divorce door. After a few sessions discussing custody and financial issues, they were ready to sign the papers. Then, with the help of a counselor, they worked out most of the issues and, although they were legally divorced, they decided to live together and raise their son in a positive, loving environment with two parents. Getting remarried in the future was not off the table.
A colleague of mine who is an attorney and family law litigator decided to separate from her husband. They went to mediation themselves and learned how to communicate through the process which led them to see a therapist, and then they reconciled.
There are Options
A mediator or collaborative law professional may bring in different experts to help with the process. A child therapist, a relationship counselor, a co-mediator and other people who understand your circumstances and have the best interests of both parties at heart. There might even be forensic accountants to ensure transparency. The difference between litigation and collaborative divorce is all these experts work together to find a result that works for everyone.
Collaborative Divorce Professional
Sharon Kianfar is a family law attorney, mediator, and collaborative law practitioner offering services throughout Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. After 20 years as a litigator, Sharon offers services exclusively in mediation and collaborative law. Her approach to family law is to adapt to each client’s specific needs, interests and goals, and to provide enough information so that parties can make their own well informed decisions that transition families going through a divorce in a compassionate and peaceful manner.