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France might say 'oui' to more collaborative type of divorce

No two divorces are the same. Every case has its own family, individuals, history and goals behind it. Some divorces take place in a courtroom. They might involve disgruntled, unfriendly parties who debate every single aspect of their divorce settlement.

Beyond a contentious divorce, there is another option that more and more couples are gravitating toward when their marriages don't work out. A recent divorce-related story proves that the desire for a collaborative divorce process isn't just alive in Minnesota, but internationally as well.

Lawmakers in France are debating the idea that people should be able to go through a simpler divorce process. If divorcing parties agree on most matters of their split, supporters of the family law proposal believe that couples should be able to finalize their divorce without a judge proceeding over the process. It would save time for all involved, according to those for the divorce simplification.

The proposal in France reflects a reality for many couples looking to divorce, there and in the Twin Cities. They want to end their marriages but not with a long, contentious legal battle that could ruin relationships that are important to the well-being of a family's future. Minnesota allows for different divorce processes that can be relatively amicable and simple.

A collaborative divorce process is for those who agree on many of the issues tied to their pending divorce, including spousal maintenance, child custody and visitation, child support, property division and more. The process is kept out of a courtroom and between the spouses and their separate lawyers. A collaborative divorce is much like it sounds. The parties work together without the stress and hostility that a trial and courtroom can create.

Minnesota's collaborative process doesn't go quite as far as the French proposal would have it. Settlements that come out of a collaborative divorce do need a judge's approval. France's idea, however, does present the question of whether judges' approvals are always necessary here.

What do you think? Feel free to leave feedback or questions on our Minnesota Divorce Blog.

Source: The Associated Press, "Divorce without judges? For cases without disputes, France considers easing the process," Jan. 3, 2014

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