The legal system, by its very nature, is designed to produce a winner and a loser. In the context of divorce litigation, the winner is defined as the party who walks away with “the most”—most money, most widgets and most time with the children. However, this win/lose paradigm is an untenable fit in divorce, especially where there are children involved. When there is a perceived winner and loser, the entire family suffers emotionally and financially. The perceived loser can often experience anger and resentment which decreases the likelihood of compliance with court orders, and increases the incidence of post-judgement litigation. Fortunately, other solutions are taking hold. Mediation is increasingly prevalent, and now, collaborative practice is achieving heightened interest by providing another alternative to litigation with significant benefits to both attorneys and their clients.
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