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Collaborative Divorce

Opportunity for Healthy Divorce

Unfortunately for many families, using the court to resolve disputes in divorce can make conflict worse rather than better. The court divorce process is “adversarial.” The spouses are set up as opponents and expected to “battle” to the end. Families and children can pay the price when living with conflict and bad feelings during and after the divorce.

But, there are other approaches that are designed to reduce conflict, promote cooperation, and create a path to healthy parenting in the future. One of these options is Collaborative Divorce. With Collaborative Divorce, the parties are supported by lawyers and other professionals who help them work together outside the court to craft solutions that will work well for their family in the future.

Thanks to a new project of Legal Aid of Western Michigan the Collaborative Divorce process is now available to low income families. To qualify for the project, both spouses’ incomes must be at or below 200% of poverty AND there must be allegations of domestic abuse.

For families who qualify, one spouse will get a lawyer from Legal Aid of Western Michigan and the other will get a lawyer who has volunteered to help for free.  Together they will work with a Divorce Coach who will help them find the best solutions for their family.

If you would like to use Collaborative Divorce and think your family may qualify, contact Legal Aid of Western Michigan at 616-774-0672.

Many private attorneys offer Collaborative Divorce as well.  If you are interested in using the process, be sure to ask when looking for and hiring an attorney.