There are many people in the Santa Rosa area who for any number of reasons may decide to divorce or to legally separate.
Making this decision is difficult enough, and many Californians can understand why they would want to keep the process is respectful and as conflict-free as possible.
There are good financial and emotional reasons for doing so. In particular, those who have children have probably heard that when parents are able to have a respectful divorce, children fare better afterward.
Collaborative divorce for those wanting a respectful split
The collaborative divorce process is one way a couple in the Wine Country can go their separate ways without a lot of arguing and legal wrangling. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses will hire their own attorneys.
As in any other case, these attorneys are there to advocate and advise their respective clients.
However, all those involved have agreed to share financial and other information freely and to work in good faith to come to agreements about divorce-related issues, like division of property and custody. They may use independent experts to help them.
Either side is free to end the process at any time, but in that case, both attorneys must withdraw representation.
Mediation for those who want help negotiating disputes
In a family law mediation, both sides hire a third party called a mediator. He or she will usually be an attorney or a counselor who has experience resolving disputes. The parties do have to hire the mediator.
The mediator will work with both sides to help them negotiate a property settlement and, if needed, a parenting plan.
The process is confidential, and no one is required to agree to anything.
Litigation does not have to be disrespectful
In some cases, traditional litigation really is the best option for resolving a family law case. It is important for people to remember that, while the aim of litigation is to go to court and let a judge decide the outcome, people are always free to agree on issues or even negotiate a settlement.
Moreover, the process does not have to be especially nasty. People can agree to disagree without doing things that might lead to long-term bad results.