Divorce does not have to be ugly.
You can take the high road and take back the control.
"The Latin root for Divorce is "diverter," meaning to divert. Divorce does not mean to sever, it just means to find a new path."
Divorce - A Journey Through the Kids' Eyes
Over 95 percent of divorce cases eventually settle, often on the courthouse steps after most of the damage and expense of litigation has occurred. Everyone agrees on the destructive effect of the litigious divorce process on divorcing couples and their children, but most couples believe that a divorce war is inevitable. At Weppler Law Office, we do divorce differently. We believe that a divorce can be a win-win. With our help, you can minimize the trauma to you and your family. You can divorce without fighting and huge legal bills. You can divorce collaboratively.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a revolutionary new way to divorce. In the collaborative process, you and your spouse, as well the attorneys, agree to stay out of court in the entire divorce process. In the event that either party resorts to the court, both lawyers are automatically disqualified from further representation. This commitment preserves the safe space for the discussions and creative problem solving to take place. The attorneys perform the traditional duties as counselor at law, informing and educating their clients about their options, as well as structuring and drafting the client't agreement skillfully to comply with the law. In collaborative divorce, both attorneys work together, rather than working against each other. Sometimes, they collaborate with "neutral experts" such as a qualified financial expert, a divorce coach and/or a child specialist. The collaborative team provides the support, information, and guidance the clients need in the process, which enables the clients to reach agreements that are sound, thorough, legally biding, and durable.
Why We Do Collaborative Divorce?
We have seen first hand what happened to the couples and their children. We are aware that they are real families with their lives' savings at stake. We are resolved to becoming a part of the solution, not the problem. We want to protect you from becoming a victim of divorce and help you take control. We believe that Collaborative Divorce can best accomplish these objectives. The benefits of Collaborative Divorce are unsurpassed. Following are just some of numerous benefits:
- Cost/Efficiency: A collaborative divorce is about 40 to 80 percent more cost effective than litigation. Collaborative attorneys work together toward achieving a common goal and resolving differences in an open and respectful manner. Clients take a more active role than in a traditional divorce. They meet face to face in a safe environment facilitated by their attorneys to share information and brainstorm options. This reduces the unnecessary and duplicative communication time needed to make decisions and therefore the cost of attorneys’ time.
- Collaborative Team: Emotions usually run high in divorce, which can hinder open communication and cooperation. Traditionally, attorneys are in charge and control every aspect of the case, including the emotional element. It is not surprising that, too often, the attorney are part of the problem, not the solution. In the collaborative framework, attorneys do not try to be a jack of all trades, but they collaborate in a team of experts best qualified to deal with the issues outside of the law. The collaborative team usually includes a mental health professional (divorce coach) trained to address stress, emotion, and communication in a divorce. This allows parties to make clear-headed, forward thinking decisions instead of critical financial or personal decisions based on the heat of the moment. The collaborative team may also include a parenting specialist and/or financial coach.
- Children: Many couples have children, pre-teens to young adults, who will be affected by how they deal with their divorce. Children adjust best when parents cooperate with each other and focus on the child’s needs. When parents work collaboratively, children have a much greater chance of working through their grief constructively.
- Privacy: Many people are unaware that a litigated divorce is a public event. Both divorce files and court appearances are open to public view and examination. Disclosed records usually include financials such as income, investments, debt, credit history, mortgage due and home value. While in litigation, attorneys will openly report accusations, involvement with substance abuse and other high-conflict issues. A collaborative divorce is private. Only the final agreements are filed in public records.
Attorney, June Weppler, is a staunch advocate for collaborative law. June is a collaboratively trained attorney with an extensive training and background in collaborative and non adversarial dispute resolution processes. Her practice does not include litigation and is focused in helping the families find solutions respectfully. She is a member of International Association of Collaborative Professionals and Association of Collaborative Professionals of Washington. She is a founding member of the Collaborative Professionals of Thurston County.
Will It Work For Me?
"I am not telling you it is going to be easy.
I am telling you it is going to be worth it." (Arthur Williams)
Collaborative Divorce is not necessarily amicable or peaceful. In fact, Collaborative Divorce is an arduous process. Clients are expected to be respectful and compassionate amid their own pains and hurts. It is far too easy to succumb to resentment, anger, and vindictiveness in such circumstances. They strive to work together to find positive solutions when their communication has been already broken down. The reward, however, is tremendous: a durable agreement, conservation of financial and emotional resources, the preservation of good will, and the beginning of healing.
Each divorce is unique, and not all individuals fit the same mould. Attorneys are ethically obligated to present all options to each prospective client. When appropriate, we may recommend other non-adversarial options, such as kitchen table divorce, divorce coaching, unbundled services, and mediation. We are happy to help you choose the right approach for you. For more information about other options, please visit our Family Law page.
Collaborative Law Resources
We encourage you to learn more about Collaborative Law.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We would be happy to answer your questions.