Not every California couple who divorces gets entangled in a contentious courtroom battle. Some spouses still get along well, perhaps even consider each other good friends. That does not necessarily mean they are happy in their marriages; however, it does mean that spouses who wish to part ways on amicable terms may want to consider collaborative law as an option.
When a mutual goal is to avoid litigation, spouses might be willing to sign a participation agreement to obtain a collaborative law divorce. Doing so often means spouses are able to achieve settlements in less time than it takes to litigate custody, visitation, support or property division issues. Collaboration sessions are typically a lot less expensive than going to court, as well.
There are often people besides spouses present at collaboration meetings. For instance, a child psychologist might be on hand to discuss issues regarding the children. While each spouse hires separate attorneys to negotiate the terms of their agreement, the same attorneys cannot provide representation if the case later converts to litigation, which sometimes happens if one or both spouses determines that collaboration is not working out as hoped.
Collaborative law may not be the way to go if a spouse believes he or she should have sole custody and the other spouse believes a shared arrangement would be best. Such differences, if left unresolved, necessitate going to trial. An experienced California family law attorney knows how to protect a parent's rights, as well as make sure children's best interests are a central focus in all negotiation meetings or court proceedings.