There were two female cats who were best friends. Unfortunately the both of them were experiencing problems in their marriages. They were unsure what to do next but knew they couldn’t stay in their current situation. The one cat, Princess, heard she should hire the most expensive, nasty, man-hating lawyer to make her ex, Tom Cat, sorry he ever existed. Princess’s best cat friend, Duchess, read some information about Collaborative Family Law. Duchess was curious to find out if collaborative law would help, because her ex, Duke Siberian, was fairly agreeable and she didn’t want their three kittens to suffer. Duchess had heard collaborative law was the way to solve her family issues without going to court.
Princess met with three different attorneys, each of whom promised to deliver the world and cut Tom Cat out completely. She wanted to make him pay for his catting around. They each wanted $10,000 to start. What these lawyers didn’t tell Princess was that after she spends thousands of dollars trying to punish her ex, because there was no fault divorce, it meant Tom Cat was not going to be punished. In fact, Princess herself would be experiencing as much if not more pain than Tom, as each time she went to court she had to say things that made her uncomfortable and even worse, her two young kittens would have to be interviewed by the Judge. Princess’ divorce lasted almost two years and her kittens barely saw their father. They learned to hate going to their father’s house. Their mother was constantly crying about court and said she had no money anymore. They became bitter and angry, acting out at school.
Duchess met with a collaborative attorney who assured her the divorce, custody and support concerns could be handled in 4 way meetings with Duke and his collaborative attorney. They all signed a collaborative participation agreement and the first 4 way meeting went well. They took turns meeting at each attorney’s office. There were detailed agendas and there were no surprises. Knowing that court was not an option, their meetings were not filled with threats . Unlike court, emotions were not stuffed under the table, they were explored. Duchess and Duke were offered the chance to meet with neutral financial advisors and divorce coaches. They jointly agreed to meet with the neutral financial advisors, because they needed help figuring out how they could afford two residences, retirement planning and eventually college for the kittens. Duchess worked part time and wanted information on support for herself and the kittens. The advisors were able to plan out what their financial picture could look like in 1, 5, and 10 years. Duke realized Duchess may need some extra support until she got back on all 4 paws again. He wanted to make sure the kittens had everything they needed.
The above may sound like a fairy tale, yet it is not. Collaboratively trained attorneys are all over the United States and the world, available to help you and your family settle your differences peaceablely without going to court. Contact your local collaborative attorney if you have questions.
About the Author
Cathy Cardozo, Esq. a graduate of Temple University Law School in 2002, practices family law exclusively in Pennsylvania. Prior she worked as a litigation paralegal and social worker with Philadelphia County MH/MR and counselor with local womens’ agencies. She is an experienced mediator and focuses her practice on divorce and equitable distribution, custody and visitation, child and spousal support and grandparents’ rights. She is the author of eBook, “Divorcing With Sanity. Click here to learn more about Cathy Cardozo, Esq.