At Livesay Law, we are committed to helping families make healthy and positive transitions in divorce. Divorce might end a marriage, but it does not necessarily end a relationship. This is especially true when children are involved. Parents who divorce must continue working together as co-parents for the good of their children. Couples without minor children, of course, can also benefit from a divorce process that values cooperation over conflict. For these reasons, we only offer out-of-court options for divorce, such as Collaborative Practice, mediation, and other cooperative processes to help people reach divorce settlements.
What Is the Divorce Process?
The divorce process begins with the decision to seek a divorce. Two spouses may come to this decision together, they may both realize it separately, or one spouse may seek the divorce while the other would prefer to keep trying. In any of these situations, the potential for conflict is always present no matter how certain the spouses are that they can work out their differences peacefully. A divorce lawyer committed to finding joint resolutions can help guide the process in ways that help the spouses avoid unnecessary conflict.
Without courtroom proceedings, the divorce process mainly consists of meetings with professionals based on whether both people have attorneys or not, and if using a neutral professional for any parts of the divorce would be helpful. All meetings, discussions, and negotiations are held with the goal of resolving the major issues present in the case. These may include:
- Division of property;
- Child custody and parenting time;
- Child support;
- Spousal support or alimony; and
- Setting new boundaries and expectations around parenting and communication.
If the spouses can reach agreements on all of the issues in their case, they can present a final judgment to the court for a judge’s signature, without appearing in court in many cases. Once the judge has approved and signed it, they may begin the next stages of their lives. In Minnesota, if a couple has minor children, both people will need attorney representation to avoid any appearance in court. But having attorneys involved does not mean it will be a fight. Who you decide to work with and how the attorneys approach their work make a difference in how your process will unfold. Hiring attorneys who are focused on problem solving and out-of-court resolution make a difference in the emotional, relational, and financial cost of the divorce.
Divorce Process Options with Livesay Law
Livesay Law offers several options for divorce without acrimony, guided by a knowledgeable and compassionate family attorney and her team.
Your marriage consisted of more than just a legal contract. It was an emotional and financial union of two people. Divorce also has these aspects. Collaborative Practice addresses all of the layers of both marriage and divorce. It does not merely address the legal issues that the spouses must resolve in order to get a judge to sign the paperwork. It helps manage the emotional and communication issues that can get in the way of reaching mutual resolution on issues and help people reach well thought out financial decisions that minimize the financial upheaval that so often comes with the divorce process. Louise Livesay has more than 20 years of experience advising clients in hundreds of Collaborative cases. She is a respected leader and colleague in this area.
Louise can help you assemble a team of professionals, including another attorney, to provide guidance and support for every aspect of your divorce. In addition to each spouse’s lawyer and the spouses themselves, a Collaborative team may include, if needed:
- A financial professional to help with asset and income gathering and verification, property division, and the adjustment of divorce on finances;
- A neutral child specialist to guide the parents and their children through the difficult processes of separation and divorce to create a child-focused parenting plan; and
- A divorce coach to help the family prepare for and adapt to post-divorce life while managing the relational issues that can get in the way during the process.
The Collaborative process allows you to use professionals based on their skills and expertise in a cost-effective manner in one-on-one, 3-way, or group meetings that are most effective for the issue at hand. Louise can recommend another Collaborative attorney for your spouse, help you select other professionals, and tailor a process that fits your family’s specific needs. Some meetings are with the neutrals without attorneys present while keeping attorneys informed along the way. This is to help manage the costs of the process.
In Collaborative Practice, the team of professionals supports the parties in reaching mutually acceptable decisions. They can assist both you and your spouse in communicating your interests and needs. They will help you craft a comprehensive agreement that is customized for your situation. Many couples find that the skills they developed while reaching a final agreement through the Collaborative process have helped them to resolve issues that arise after their divorce without resorting to court intervention.
Louise Livesay is a trained Rule 114 family mediator. She has many years of experience acting as a neutral who supports couples as they negotiate divorce settlements fairly and respectfully.
A mediator helps the parties in a divorce identify the issues they need to resolve, gather the necessary information, and work toward a solution to which they both can agree. While mediation addresses the same issues as a court or Collaborative divorce, the mediator does not offer legal advice or advocate for either party. They are a facilitator and can signal to you when talking to an attorney may be helpful. Louise can refer you to attorneys who are supportive of mediation and not undo your hard work.
If you are doing mediation with another mediator, but you want advice while going through the process or need an attorney to draft or review court documents after mediation for you, Louise is available to help.
Other Divorce Options
Louise Livesay is committed to helping people resolve issues out of court. She believes that most people, with the right support, can do so peacefully and respectfully.
While Collaborative Practice and mediation are excellent options for many families, they are not appropriate for all divorces. If yours is one of those cases, Louise can refer you to a number of reputable attorneys whose services will better meet the needs of you and your family.
If your spouse is working with an attorney that is also committed to an out-of-court settlement, or if you want to retain an attorney but your spouse does not, Louise is effective and skilled in problem-solving and achieving resolution as your counselor at law to help you complete your divorce.
If you are not sure which option would work best, or even if you should move forward with a divorce, Livesay Law Office can provide a no-obligation Pre-Divorce Consultation to learn more about processes and options.
For over twenty years, family lawyer Louise Livesay has guided families in the Twin Cities area through the divorce process with dignity and respect. If you have questions about divorce mediation, Collaborative Law, or other divorce options, please contact us today online or at (651) 294-2338.