To many people, Divorce is a daunting word. But like any daunting concept, it helps to break it down into parts to really understand it. This can help clear up confusion and answer questions, and it can also alleviate some of the apprehension toward the process.

The word Divorce is an umbrella term, meaning it arches over smaller types of agreements and settlements that are necessary for two parties to dissolve their marriage. Under this larger umbrella are the parties separating, and depending on which type of agreement one chooses, the supporting cast may vary.

The most basic part of most divorces is a negotiation. Negotiation is used to describe the process by which the terms of a divorce are settled. It is limited to the bare bones of the parties’ interests and what is being represented on each side. Negotiation seeks to remove the emotion from the context of the process, focusing instead on technical interests like money, custody, property, and parenting decisions and time spent by each parent.

Mediation is a process is different than a simple negotiation, as it involves the divorcing parties working with a qualified neutral mediator to assist a couple in reaching a resolution and may occur at any point during a divorce. A mediator may or may not be an attorney. some mediators may be social workers or psychologists. Qualified and certified mediators generally serve as go-betweens for the divorcing parties, who rely on the mediator’s skills to help them reach the best possible outcome. The mediator may navigate between two separate rooms to help parties reach a settlement. At the end of the mediation, both parties will sign off on an agreement. This may occur over several sessions until an agreement is reached. If no agreement is reached, the parties may then go to litigation. Either way, an attorney is in the best position to prepare the final agreements to settle. The attorneys at the Law Office of Miriam Cooper & Associates, LLC., are certified mediators and can navigate the mediation as well as prepare the documentation consistent with the law.

Collaborative Divorce is a type of divorce that addresses both the legal and holistic needs of the divorcing parties. This type of divorce allows the parties to settle their proceedings without going to court. During Collaborative Divorce, a Collaborative Lawyer, sometimes called a Collaborative Law Fellow, facilitates the separation and negotiation process. This may occur in conjunction with other specialists, such as neutral Financial Specialists, Child Specialists and Divorce Coaches. The separating parties first sign an agreement to proceed amicably to reach the best possible outcome for both sides. The cooperative nature of a Collaborative Divorce allows for an amicable, supportive environment. The couple is assisted by the lawyer and specialists in a series of meetings—which take less time than court proceedings—and is spared from having to negotiate or litigate in court. Overall, the parties have greater control of the process, and the outcome is more favorable.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Miriam Cooper & Associates, LLC. are versed in all forms and parts of the divorce process. Whichever type of agreement clients seek, the attorneys will provide comprehensive expertise tailored to the client’s specific needs. The attorneys at the Law Office of Miriam Cooper & Associates understand the intimidating nature of entering a divorce and offer quality, customized representation to address our clients’ unique processes.

by Miriam Cooper