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Collaborative Divorce - A Healthier Alternative

Like other alternatives to the traditional litigated divorce, collaborative divorce is a more dignified way of separating that allows the spouses, the children, and even the assets, to emerge healthy.

Collaborative divorce addresses the three dimensions of divorce; legal, emotional and financial. It is a process by which divorcing couples, together with specially trained professionals, work as a team to resolve disputes respectfully without going to court.

The team is interdisciplinary, consisting of attorneys, supportive coaches, a neutral financial specialist and, when appropriate, a child specialist.

In a typical litigated case, the lawyers alone perform all these roles themselves. In a collaborative case, the lawyers appropriately focus on the legal issues and delegate the emotional and financial issues to properly trained and experienced professionals.

The mental health coach is a key component of collaborative divorce. The coaches work with the spouses to help manage the emotional components of the case. With the coaches' help, the couple can effectively deal with potentially debilitating feelings that often interfere with negotiations. This ultimately saves the family time and money and preserves well-being.

One of the most critical components of the collaborative divorce process is the use of a child specialist, who acts as a voice for the children. Through the child specialist, the children can freely express feelings without worrying about being disloyal. This keeps the process focused on the needs of the kids and is used to effect a parenting plan that benefits the entire family.

Lastly, the financial specialist works, neutrally, with the couple to insure that they understand all the financial ramifications of divorce and present various options to the couple in order to ultimately reach a settlement that, again, benefits all parties.


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If the court refuses to award alimony at the final hearing, and if alimony is not included in the final judgment, neither spouse can return to court in the future and request alimony due to a change in circumstance. Many final divorce judgments in Connecticut award $1 a year in alimony because this preserves the right to revisit the alimony issue if circumstances change.
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