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A collaborative divorce gives you more control

When you and your spouse feel like you can work together during your divorce, you may decide to go the route of a collaborative divorce. Cooperation is necessary, but this keeps your divorce out of the court system.

One of the big advantages of working together like this is that you get more control. A traditional, court-based divorce means you present the case to the judge, he or she considers it and then you get a court order that you have to follow. You really don't have much control over what that order says.

For instance, parents are often worried about custody time with their kids. In a traditional divorce, the judge makes a ruling and tells you how often you'll see your kids and when you'll have custody. It may not be what you want at all, but that's what it is.

With a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse can carefully consider what is best for your entire family. You can communicate about your needs and desires. You can think about summer plans and holiday plans. You can talk to your children and see what they want and need. The ball is, so to speak, in your court. This often means that you can come up with a plan that you're happy with and that fits your family's needs in a way that a judge just never could.

Using this tactic does not mean there aren't rules and laws to follow or specific steps you need to take, however. Make sure that you are well aware of what they are.

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