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Divorce Options - an Update for 2020

In 2014, we didn't know yet who would be running for president in the 2016 election, the Guardians of the Galaxy had just arrived, Pharrell Williams was "Happy", and the Ebola virus outbreak was reaching epidemic proportions in West Africa.

Also, in 2014 we posted a 3-part article on Starting the Divorce Process, and despite how much has changed since 2014, divorce is pretty much the same.  You have a choice when getting divorced; you decide how much professional help you want, how much control you want to have over the outcome, and how much time and energy you have to devote to your divorce.

What is different in 2020 is the continued growth in popularity of divorce process options that focus on family over fighting.  More professionals are trained every year in collaborative law and mediation. Conscious uncoupling has become a buzzword for a better divorce. More and more resources are showing up to help explain the options in divorce in more understandable and approachable ways:

A Collaborative Law Success Story - 4 part video series

Mediation Helps Solve your Conflict - Video

In 2014 we outlined the divorce process options and the differences between collaborative law, mediation and more traditional options.  Since then, in my experience of working actively in the collaborative law and mediation communities, I've seen an increase in the creativity that professionals and clients are willing to bring to problem solving.

In 2020, it's okay to say that cases 
don't have to fit into one process box.

Litigators are more open to using mediators to settle cases before trial, or using joint experts in the course of a negotiation.  Mediators are bringing in divorce coaches and financial professionals to help their clients when the issues require expert assistance.  The tools available in a collaborative law case are being recognized as possible ways to improve any negotiation.  Even in the courts, which are notoriously slow to adapt, pilot programs are exploring how non-adversarial approaches can help families.

The growth of collaborative law and mediation has been slower than some would like (the author of this article included), but and the future is bright with possibilities.  

In a divorce, we ask clients to look a year or two in the future and think about what they want their life to be like.  This helps them see the hope that is possible and determine what process might be best for them.  Looking back at the growth from 2014 to 2020, I'm also filled with hope about what is possible for the future of conflict resolution.

We've updated our Divorce Process Options chart to reflect this mindset of hope. We created two versions with different levels of information, and you can decide which you prefer.  Feel free to share either on your website, or print and share with your clients (keeping our copyright and contact information for attribution):




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