When most couples marry, they vow to stay together in good times and bad. Christo and Sharlene Lassiter of Cincinnati certainly did, when they got hitched in 1986.
They called it quits after 10 years of marriage, but 17-years later, their divorce-related battles are still ongoing. The divorce between the two ex-spouses, who also happen to both be law professors, has been so acrimonious, that a judge recently rebuked the pair saying they make a mockery of the legal profession. Not all divorce cases are this extreme. But the very process of divorce is by nature, adversarial.
So what options exist for couples who hope to split up more amicably? It’s called collaborative divorce and it’s a process that addresses the financial, emotional and legal aspects of divorce, all at once. It’s aimed at saving couples heartache, money and ugly court battles. How does collaborative divorce work? What if one spouse is hooked on fighting?
Mary Ann Aronsohn, marriage and family therapist in private practice in South Pasadena; collaborative divorce coach
Leslee J. Newman, attorney at law specializing in amicable divorce