Collaborative Divorce: An Alternative

A traditional divorce is designed to be an adversary proceeding, using traditional courtroom procedures, where each party’s lawyer is a zealous advocate for that party. The role of the lawyer in a traditional divorce is to protect the client’s rights and to “win” what the client wants.

There are alternatives to this model, however. If the parties choose, the parties can dissolve their marriage peacefully, through negotiation.

One such alternative is a Collaborative Divorce. Using a model of dispute resolution first developed in the 1980’s, the parties agree to end their marriage by negotiation and to hire lawyers who pledge to use only negotiation techniques to resolve the case. By binding agreement, the parties and lawyers pledge from the outset to not go to court or threaten to go to court. The role of the lawyer changes dramatically: in a collaborative divorce, the lawyers coach and guide their clients on how to obtain what they want through negotiation techniques and collaborative protocols. The lawyers are contractually required to resign if one or both clients declare an impasse and file proceedings in court.

A collaborative divorce is not for everyone and is not right in every case, but for those parties who choose this route, the result is a peaceful divorce with a durable agreement based on compromise, mutual trust, and full disclosure. The result, also known as an alternative divorce, usually is less costly, is faster processing, and ultimately is a consensual agreement that everyone willingly embraces.

After 37 years of “in the trenches” family law litigation experience in Portland Oregon, Ronald Johnston learned about the principles of collaborative divorce and has taken training in its procedures. Mr. Johnston now willingly and proudly offers this type of counsel and representation to those who are interested.

A collaborative divorce also is known as a “peaceful divorce,” collaborative practice, a negotiated divorce, an alternative divorce, and a mediated divorce.

If you need an alternative divorce in Portland Oregon, or a peaceful divorce in Portland Oregon, call Ronald Johnston Family Law today at 503-226-7986.

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