Divorce is an emotional and often traumatizing experience for couples and their family members. Living in a household where the relationship between the parents has gradually eroded over time is painful enough without family members getting involved in a contentious litigation over everything from property division to custody.
Fortunately for Cincinnati area residents, there are more peaceful, less confrontational alternatives to a traditional litigated divorce that are more private, less expensive and can offer more beneficial results in preserving relationships that will help everyone to move forward.
Divorce in Ohio
While there are fault-based grounds for divorce in Ohio, including adultery, extreme cruelty, gross neglect and habitual drunkenness, there are also no-fault grounds that eliminate lengthy and costly court battles. The process for a no-fault divorce in Ohio is called dissolution, and the grounds are separation of at least one year or incompatibility.
If the spouses are willing to negotiate and wish to preserve a relationship that will be beneficial for them or for co-parenting arrangements, they might want to consider a collaborative divorce. The Ohio legislature passed the Ohio Collaborative Law Act in 2012, which clarifies how they are performed and mandates certain requirements for attorneys practicing collaborative law.
The collaborative process
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods have provided non-litigated options to divorcing couples for quite some time. However, unlike a mediation, where clients often meet with a mediator without their attorneys present, collaborative divorce offers a process for spouses who feel the need to have the support of their attorney while negotiating the terms of a divorce settlement.
Along with their attorneys, a mental health professional is there to help spouses to work through emotional triggers and support them as they process strong emotions that could harm negotiations. Often, financial advisors or accountants fill out an interdisciplinary team that is working together for the benefit of the clients.
The collaborative process focusses on the clients’ needs. As an interest-based negotiation, the attorneys negotiate instead of threatening or making demands. By going into the process understanding that the goal is to work with the other side, both sides can come away with some, if not all, of their demands. This allows for a win-win outcome that provides a resolution to conflicts. When it comes to preserving family relationships, this process is ideal for establishing a foundation for future co-parenting arrangements.
It is important to have an experienced and trusted divorce attorney to help you find the best way to work through your unique circumstances during divorce.