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Amicable divorces are becoming increasingly popular

Divorce doesn't have to be contentious. Increasingly, couples who decide to end their marriage try to do so in a way that lets them part amicably. That can save time, money and stress.

An amicable divorce is particularly important if you have children. You'll be in each other's lives forever. It's also beneficial for your kids to see that their parents can still be civil to one another and take care of them even if they can no longer be together as a couple.

When divorcing couple commit to a common goal, they can find a way to work through all of the challenges they may encounter as they're dividing property, developing a parenting plan and working out support agreements. For parents, that common goal is typically to do what's in the best interests of the kids. Even couples without children can find common goals in simplifying the process as much as possible and arriving at agreements that are fair to both.

It's helpful when both spouses choose attorneys who share their commitment to a civil but fair divorce. Some high-profile divorce attorneys are known for their win-at-all-cost strategies. However, these "scorched earth" divorces often leave a lot of residual anger and a stack of legal bills.

If you and your spouse can work together on your various agreements rather than have to ask a judge to settle matters for you, you're likely to end up with a settlement that reflects what's best for your children.

Many couples choose collaborative divorce or mediation. Both of these processes require couples to resolve their issues and come to agreements that are fair to both. In addition to having attorneys providing guidance, spouses may call in financial, tax and real estate advisers to help them work out the details of various agreements. They may call in mental health and other professionals to help them make the best decisions for their children.

If you're seeking a peaceful alternative to a litigated divorce, it's wise to consult with an attorney with experience in collaborative law. They can outline how it works. This can help you determine whether it's the right choice for you.

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