Sunday, October 1, 2017

What Should You Do if Your Spouse Gives You a List of Suggested Attorneys for a Collaborative Divorce?

Although you might be tempted to run hard in the opposite direction, this is not a bad or scary thing. You may not want a divorce, but if your spouse wants it, a divorce will be granted eventually. The list you receive may be the key to having a good experience, or at least making the best out of a situation you don't want.

1.  What does the list mean? Don't worry, you're not in danger.  It clearly indicates that your spouse is planning to or has filed for divorce. It also means that your spouse wants to try to be civilized about the uncoupling.

2.  Should you feel surprised?  Probably not.  There may have been discussions recently or over a period of time.  At the very least, there have likely been problems between the two of you. If you think about it, you may remember signs that things weren't going well.

     Regardless of whether your are surprised, you need to protect yourself.

3.  So, what should you do?  (Multiple Choice time!)

a.  Accept the list and check them out.

b.  Do your own research on line.

c.  Ask friends or counselors or attorneys to recommend  a Collaborative attorney.

d.  Take a little time to assess the situation.

e.  All of the above.

And the correct answer is "e".

4.  Check out the names on the list. They do not work with your spouse's attorney.  They are all independent and each would only represent your interests. They would have no connection to your spouse.

Once you learn a little about Collaborative Law, you will understand that it helps you to have an attorney who knows, gets along with and has successfully worked with, the other side's attorney. 

If you are in the Collaborative process, you want two lawyers who can work together to reach an agreement without creating stress, animosity or excessive costs. You want a peaceful resolution.  It takes two special lawyers.

Final Word:  If you are too uncomfortable to use the names on your list, feel free to search for another trained Collaborative attorney. Check their experience and make sure they actually have handled a number of Collaborative cases.  Unfortunately, there are some attorneys who claim to be Collaborative who always find a reason to talk people out of using Collaborative.  If someone tries that with you, go see another Collaborative attorney.  You will be much better off.