Can Californians end a marriage in ways other than litigation?

By |2022-04-04T19:17:42+00:0013 Feb 2015|Categories: Divorce, Dispute|

Can Californians end a marriage in ways other than litigation?

Many people in California think that divorce requires “litigation,” meaning in common parlance that their attorneys argue in court over the details of the couple’s positions in front of a judge who makes a final ruling. Historically, litigation has been used in most divorces, but as increasing numbers of attorneys and legal observers have noted, it has certain disadvantages. It can be emotionally difficult for the divorcing couple and their children, expensive and can lead to conflict will that can last for years. Fortunately, another option called “collaborative law” is available for couples who want to save themselves the emotional and financial challenges of litigation.

How long has the collaborative law approach been around? First used in the late 1980s and early 1990s, this form of alternative dispute resolution has compiled a strong record of marriages ending peacefully and without undue legal costs. A national nonpartisan organization called the Uniform Law Commission continues to help states enact standards for collaborative law and how it resolves family law issues. The approach has been so successful that it has been adopted in many other countries, including Canada, Australia and several countries in Europe.

How widely used is collaborative law? In the United States, the model Uniform Collaborative Law Act has been adopted by several state legislatures. It provides a detailed overview of how dispute resolution can benefit families and communities, how the process works and why the UCLA should be adopted by all states.

The act explains that collaborative law is a method that allows parties to reach negotiated resolutions rather than litigation. The collaborative approach lets parties make decisions themselves rather than leave them to judges or arbitrators. The collaborative law process is similar to divorce mediation, but the parties are represented by lawyers trained in collaborative law to help their clients identify the issues that both parties need to resolve.

Source:, “Uniform Collaborative Law Rules,” Oct. 12, 2010

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
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