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Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck using a divorce mediator

In the old days, when a couple decided to call it quits, the expectation was like that of a prize fight. Both spouses would go to their respective corners with their legal teams and prepare to duke it out. And, unlike boxing, divorcing couples often tried to land hits below the belt. Over the last decade, there's been a sea change happening in the world of divorce, though. It's a shift toward a spirit of cooperation. It's a reexamination of the efficacy of the old ways of doing business. This new collaborative law focuses of talking through issues.

Rather than adopting an adversarial stance, couples who try collaborative law do so with the hopes of coming to an agreement outside the contentiousness of the courts and, with a little luck, staying cordial enough with one another to maintain a healthy relationship after the divorce, a particularly helpful idea when the couple have children together.

We've seen this trend reflected lately in the world of celebrity divorce. First, Gwenyth Paltrow and Coldplay singer Chris Martin made headlines after they decided to "consciously uncouple." Then, early this month, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, or "Bennifer" if you will, announced that they were splitting. The couple have contracted a divorce mediator to reach an agreement on the main issues of their divorce.

While collaborative divorce may not work for every couple, it's typically a less-expensive, less-invasive option for former spouses to come to an agreement on topics like child custody, visitation, child support, alimony and property division.

If you have questions or concerns about trying a collaborative divorce, you may want to consider speaking with an attorney who specializes in this area.

Source: z963.com, "Affleck, Garner 'divided assets on post-break-up trip'," July 18, 2015

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Goddard & Malmquist
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