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* Keeping Judges Out Of Divorces

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    J.A.I.L. News Journal Los Angeles - January 24, 2001 ____________________________________________________ Listen to HotSeat4Judges daily on Internet Radio
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 24, 2001

      J.A.I.L. News Journal
      Los Angeles - January 24, 2001
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      Keeping Judges Out Of Divorces
      (While we agree that there is nothing good about a divorce, and many, if not most divorces ought not to be, the fact is, they do happen. Below is some sound advice for couples facing divorce. Couples should attempt at all cost to avoid going to court and save themselves untold heartaches. Too often, in the heat of passion of a divorce, one or both of the parties make unwise decisions to go to court in hopes of gaining an advantage against the other. For your own good, please reconsider. It could, and often will be a case of the avalanche becoming greater than the mountain, or two opponents fighting each other in an alligator swamp in which neither will be pleased with the net result. Believe me, take my advice, avoid courts at all costs and settle outside! You'll both be glad you did.)
      Thanks to Murray Steinberg for the following:

      Collaborating On Divorce 
      * New Process Avoids Court For Divorcing Couples
      * Called Collaborative Law, Involves Informal Discussions
      * Offers Couples Lower Cost, Less Emotional Pain

      BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Jan. 23, 2001
      (CBS) A new way of settling divorces is providing couples with a way to end their marriages while avoiding nasty, costly courtroom battles, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart.

      In the process, called "collaborative law," each partner hires a lawyer,
      and all four parties - the lawyers and the spouses - sign a "participation

      In it, everyone agrees to work toward a settlement, and not to go to court.
      And if discussions do break down, both lawyers must withdraw from the case and may not file any motions in court whatsoever.

      It's quicker, cleaner, and cheaper: A divorce handled in court costs a
      minimum of $15,000 to $20,000, while a collaborative law divorce averages $2,000 to $3,000.

      Minnesota attorney Stuart Webb dreamed up the idea. It's the risk of having to start all over with new lawyers, he says, that usually convinces about 95 percent of all couples to settle.

      "I remind them of it all the time, you know, as we go along," Webb says.
      "'Know if this is going in the direction it's heading, it's going to be
      bye-bye time.'" 
      What About The Kids?
      Read Part I of CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart's series on divorce:

      Easing Divorce's Impact On Kids

      A new legal experiment aims to solve one of the most wrenching social
      problems of our time: how to protect the most valuable thing left from a
      marriage when their parents have called it quits?

      Mike and Sherry Rasmussen settled their divorce via collaborative law.
      There was no love lost during the proceedings, but there also was no
      threats or posturing - just a split down the middle of everything they own.
      Attorneys Ron Ousky and Maury Beaulier like the process so much they've collaborated on a half a dozen divorces.

      "You're an advocate and you're still representing your client's interests,
      but you're doing so with reasoned arguments and eliminating some of the
      tone," said Beaulier.

      "Once you've launched the missiles in your first court proceeding you've
      drawn adversarial lines and people become polarized rather than coming
      together," he said.

      Neither lawyer misses the emotional turmoil that acrimonious divorce
      proceedings can bring.

      "I've seen suicides. I've seen death threats. I've seen people in so much
      pain," said Ousky. "In 18 years I've seen three suicides."

      As Mike and Sherry ended their marriage, there was no shouting. The lawyers thanked the pair for doing "what's fair and civil" and wished each good luck in their new, separate life.

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