Robin Williams and former spouse Marsha were wise enough to work with a California no-court divorce option called Collaborative Law.
In 2008, while working out the final details of his 19 year marriage, Robin Williams told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres: “I think a lot of times divorce can be like circumcision with a weed wacker.” Classic Williams, but how insightful.
California Family Code states “If a written agreement is entered into by the parties, the parties may utilize a collaborative law process…”
That means settling your divorce without the Courts with each party guided by a trained Collaborative Lawyer. Both parties control the final outcome, not an overworked Judge in a public Court proceeding.
‘The Collaborative Law process requires both parties as well as the professionals engaged by the them… to agree in writing to use their best efforts to make a good faith attempt to resolve disputes related to the family law matters on an agreed basis without resorting to adversary judicial intervention.”
Robin and Marsha Williams successfully settled their divorce using the Collaborative Law process. So did Roy & Patty Disney (yup, the major shareholders of the Walt Disney, Co., estimated worth over $1 bill). Madonna and Guy Ritchie were reportedly the first ones to use the process, and it’s believed that Tiger Woods and Elin Nordergen are also using it.
Here are five good reasons why Collaborative Law is helping smart couples avoid the emotionally destructive, unpredictable nature of the traditionally litigated divorce.
- It minimizes harm to both parties and their children by working toward a guided agreeable resolution.
- It gives the family control over the result – something you don’t get from a judge imposing orders.
- Shared experts and the voluntary disclosure of information decreases costs and avoids court deadlines.
- You maintain your privacy. You never testify or step into a courtroom with Collaborative Law.
- Dignity. Both parties conclude the process with their integrity and self respect knowing they did their best for their family.
If I were Arnold, I wouldn’t want to cause any more hurt. I would learn from Robin Williams, and other smart, high profile families and request that the divorce proceed collaboratively. Who knows? Maybe the former California Governor can make better decisions now with his divorce than he did in his marriage.
About the author.
Armine Baltazar is a trained Collaborative Lawyer offering creative alternatives to divorce. Her goal is to resolve family law problems with minimum possible impact on a family’s financial and emotional well-being.
Armine belongs to several Collaborative Law organizations, including Los Angeles Westside Collaborative Divorce Professionals. Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association and the International Association of Collaborative Professionals.