Collaborative Divorce is Better
By Bill Powers, Charlotte Divorce Lawyer and IACP Member – International Association of Collaborative Professionals
I think family law attorneys are cut from a different sort of cloth.
Indeed, the best divorce lawyers I know are creative souls, with substantial talents and interests beyond the law.
Family law cases generally tend to be complex, involving more than just large sums of money related to ED (equitable distribution), support, and alimony.
They also may involve betrayal, hurt feelings, and the best-interests of children.
Your lawyer, and how they approach legal representation in a divorce, can make all the difference in the world.
The truly impressive divorce attorneys rely on their life experiences, unique personalities, and courtroom trials skills in providing legal advice you can trust.Are Lawsuits and Litigation Required in a Divorce?
North Carolina was one of the first 13 Colonies.
Vestiges of British “Common Law” still exist in our court system today, including some traditional biases.
Divorce has not always been characterized as a fair, equitable process to all litigants.
Fortunately, the NC divorce laws evolved, as have certain notions regarding parenting skills, spousal support, and the distribution of assets.
North Carolina General Statute Chapter 50 now governs Alimony, Child Support, and Divorce in the Pine State.
A Decree of Divorce must be issued by a Court of competent jurisdiction, meaning a lawsuit is technically required.
That does not mean traditional litigation, discovery, depositions, and a trial are mandatory.
Collaborative Divorce is an option in North Carolina.
Article 4 of North Carolina General Statute § 50-70 describes Collaborative Law as an “alternative to judicial disposition of issues.”
Divorce involves dissolving complex interpersonal and sexual relationships.
Some spouses prefer protracted litigation and a cantankerous approach.
To be fair, very few legal disputes present the opportunity for vitriolic disagreement as much as those involving marital assets and child custody.
It can be driven by bad faith and anger, overly burdensome, and exact a tremendous personal and financial cost.
But it does not have to be that way.Courtroom Lawyer to Collaborative Attorney
How is that a lawyer known for trial advocacy and litigation is a proponent of the Collaborative Law Process?
Bill Powers, former president of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the largest voluntary association of criminal defense, personal injury, and domestic “trial lawyers” in North Carolina, prefers Collaborative Divorce.
There’s a reason for that. Divorce is different.
Accident cases, necessarily alleging negligence, involve a certain level of “righting a wrong.”
Defending someone for a criminal charge, or allegations of DWI, center on constitutional rights, protecting the accused, and the Rule of Law.
Divorce should not be about vengeance, punishment, or exacting a pound of flesh.
If those are your goals, you’re likely going to be sadly disappointed in the end.
Unfortunately, some litigants and divorce lawyers don’t see it that way.
Reasonable minds may differ on whether Collaborative Law is a realistic, viable way to resolve disputes.
We believe, as lawyers who have dedicated their careers to courtroom advocacy, that when it comes to family law issues, there is a better, smarter way to go about things.
We firmly and resolutely believe children are not tools or leverage-points in litigation.
Deciding what’s best for children should be predicated on their individual needs and their well-being.
Self-centered bravado and posturing in litigating child custody, visitation, and child support may ultimately harm your children in the long run.
An overly litigious nature will rob you of your time, your mental health, and your money.
Psychiatrists, family counselors, and child welfare experts well-understand the negative consequences of embittered divorce proceedings.
As such, they are some of the strongest advocates of Collaborative Divorce in Charlotte and a much-appreciated referral source.Do You Still Litigate Cases?
Not everyone agrees with the Collaborative Divorce approach.
Even some collaborative attorneys in Charlotte sharply disagree with terms in a Collaborative Law agreement that include binding mediation or arbitration rather than litigation.
While that may be extremely profitable for divorce attorneys (some experienced divorce lawyers in Charlotte charge $500 or more per hour), we readily admit we don’t push litigation, and all that entails, on clients.
“Courtroom lawyers” aren’t at the Mecklenburg County courthouse by mistake. We enjoy going to court and litigating legal issues when appropriate.
We are intellectually stimulated by complex legal issues and discerning the truth through the presentation of evidence and cross-examination.
There are some matters related to family law, such as Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation, that are much more akin to an accident case or wrongful death claim.
When someone intentionally interferes with a marriage or has an inappropriate sexual relationship with a married person, there is a wrong to right. Court may be required.
As between spouses in a marriage, we think it’s much better to approach the separation and divorce in a collaborative way.
Attorneys look out for the best-interests of their client.
“Winning” a case may very well involve the conscious decision not to fight private battles in public courtrooms.Charlotte Collaborative Divorce Lawyers – Powers Law Firm PA
If you would like more information about our Charlotte Divorce Law Firm and how we help with Collaborative Divorce, please call now to schedule a consultation: 704-342-4357
Prior to speaking with an attorney, we will conduct a “conflict check” to confirm our team of divorce lawyers is available for representation.
Please note, consultation fees apply.
That means the firm charges for its time, including billing on an hourly basis.
The Powers Law Firm PA also requires a True Retainer to reserve the availability of the firm for legal representation on all divorce matters.