One of the most beneficial parts of the collaborative process is the ability of divorcing spouses to figure out and implement the best possible tax strategies for their family now and in the future. This is done by working with the financial neutral and the lawyers to understand the tax implications of the divorce. Many times the lawyers will also work with the family’s CPA. The IRS has provided some helpful publications to assist divorced and divorcing spouses better understand the tax code. A good reference for these publications can be found here: http://jeannehannah.typepad.com/blog_jeanne_hannah_traver/2011/03/irs-resources-for-divorced-and-divorcing-people.html#more.
The lawyers at Stephens & Margolin LLP bring a wealth of technical knowledge to the table in collaborative cases and have a team of professionals they work with to create best outcomes.
The Huffington Post published a thoughtful article on financial mistakes that women make in divorces. The article can be read here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-a-landers/the-top-6-serious-financi_b_824853.html#s242241&title=Not_securing_alimony
One of the benfits of collaborative divorce is that the team approach allows for more layers of protection. A spouse is not relying only on his/her lawyer to protect them. The other lawyer is looking out for financial issues that could affect both parties. Most importantly, the financial neutral is there to make sure that the family as a whole is properly protected.
Family court judge Michele Lowrance recently wrote a book titled “The Good Karma Divorce.” The premise of the book is “The American court system was not built to house or process the violent emotions unleashed by divorce. Attorneys are not trained to reduce the attendant suffering of their divorcing clients and families, and judges have a limited toolkit of remedies. Divorcing couples embark on this frightful journey, believing that the court will deliver justice, and that justice will deliver peace. Most discover somewhere during the process that they are achingly, horribly, alone. This book is the insurance policy against having the kind of divorce you always feared, while showing you how to protect yourself, your children, your finances, your soul, and your psyche.”
The book is a good introduction into some of the reasons that divorcing spouses are choosing the collaborative process. Information on the book can be found here: http://thegoodkarmadivorce.com/.
The Washington Post published an article on the fact that estranged spouses are increasingly waiting out the economic downturn before divorcing. The article can be read here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/21/AR2010032103139.html
While I am always in favor of people being able to save their marriage, it is unfortunate if a couple has to stay married even though they do not want to be. Collaborative divorce can provide a more flexible and creative approach to dealing with the impact of the economic downturn on a married couple’s ability to divorce.
In a demonstration of the expanding popularity of the collaborative practice model, the lead article in this month’s Oregon State Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section newsletter is an article by Forrest Collins, a local collaborative practicioner. The article is an excellent explanation of the collaborative practice model in domestic relations cases.
The entire article can be read here: http://www.osbadr.com/newsletter.php?issueid=5