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Can couples approach a divorce filing with cooperation?

In March 2014, actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced she was separating from husband Chris Martin in a process called conscious uncoupling. However, the efficiency of that approach was recently called into doubt when Paltrow filed for divorce, over a year later.

Although Maryland couples seeking a divorce might not follow Paltrow’s example, there are similar options available under state law. These options include a traditional divorce filing, mediation, and collaborative divorce. 

In a collaborative divorce, the parties and their attorneys agree to exchange information voluntarily and work toward a mutual agreement. The process may also include testimony from experts or other professionals, such as financial advisors. In mediation, the mediator does not give legal advice or hear from other professionals. Notably, an attorney can be present in each of these forums, adding presence of mind to individuals who might be unfamiliar with the specific procedures of the particular forum.

Yet even a divorce filing in court can be approached with a spirit of cooperation. Our law firm focuses on divorce and family law, which is why we can offer strong advocacy in any forum. Since we have represented individuals seeking a divorce in court, we understand the factors a court will examine in determining property division, child and/or spousal support, and child custody. That experience can be a great asset to individuals pursuing mediation, collaborative divorce or simply a less confrontational approach to their divorce.

Filing for divorce does not have to signal a contentious process. Rather, having a court’s review and approval of the legal aspects of divorce can provide an additional level of comfort and security. Our attorneys work to help individuals make informed choices about how to approach their divorce and its various aspects.

Source: WMDT, “Gwyneth Paltrow files for divorce from Chris Martin,” April 21, 2015

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