My wife is very controlling. Will Collaborative Divorce work for us?

Meant to provide both you and your spouse with a good amount of control over ending your marriage, the ultimate outcome of collaborative divorce depends largely on whether you and your spouse can communicate and agree with each other on your issues.

By Jeffrey P. Bollinger
April 07, 2009
CA FAQ/Collaborative Law

It should. Nothing is certain -- not Collaborative Divorce, not litigation, not mediation. The goal and purpose of Collaborative Divorce is that each party is empowered with more control over the outcome of the divorce, compared to litigation or other dispute-resolution methods.

In Collaborative Divorce, the attorneys agree not to litigate the divorce if they do not reach a settlement, removing the incentive for a "win at all costs" approach by either side. This provides a motivation for both spouses to remain at the table when things get heated. Collaborative Divorce is conducted with civility in private settings, rather than with hostility in the public arena. You and your spouse each retain your own attorney, so your wife will have an objective professional guiding her through the process.

If the collaborative process falls apart, you and your wife each have to obtain new counsel, and a waiting period is imposed before either of you may run into court, stripping both of you of control over the situation. Unlike litigation or traditional mediation, Collaborative Divorce is designed to give the parties control over the process of resolving issues, the cost of the process, and the outcome of the divorce. It is important to remember, however, that not all people are suited for Collaborative Divorce. The success of the process depends on all of the people involved. This would be true of mediation and litigation as well. The length of time and the total cost to resolve all of the issues in your divorce depends on both you and your wife. Collaborative Divorce can be a successful approach to getting a divorce from a controlling person.

Jeffrey P. Bollinger practices family law with Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation in Los Angeles. He can be reached at (310) 277-7117. View his firm's Divorce Magazine profile here.

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April 07, 2009
Categories:  FAQs

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