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Separation

A Solution That Looks
To The Future

Divorce

Helping You Navigate
The Process

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A Firm That Knows What You’re Going Through

Child Support

A Pragmatic Approach
To Child Support

Asset Division

Get What You’re Entitled To And Preserve What You Have

Spousal Support

Working To Protect Your Finances In Divorce

Adoption

Adoption Is Worth The Effort. Let Us Help.

Mediation

North Carolina Certified Family Financial Mediator

Collaborative Divorce

North Carolina Certified Family Law Specialist Joseph Schmitz is working at the forefront in Winston-Salem in developing and deploying the collaborative divorce process.  Collaborative divorce is a groundbreaking and revolutionary process, and it has been tested and proven to be highly effective for helping individuals resolve their issues in a private, lower stress, and cost-effective way, while avoiding the destructive side-effects of court proceedings.

These are just a few of the benefits of the collaborative process:

  1. It’s private.  It keeps your private, family affairs completely confidential and out of the public record.  Your family matters should remain in the family.
  2. It’s proven to be effective at preserving relationships.   Your marriage may be ending, but particularly when you have children (even if they’re grown) , preserving and even possibly rebuilding a trust-relationship with your spouse as you wind-down your marriage can only serve to benefit your children in innumerable ways.
  3. It’s far less expensive than litigation.
  4. It’s less stressful.  Unlike in litigation, the parties and their attorneys set the agenda and the pace toward reaching a resolution.
  5. It’s a needs-focused process.  The attorneys are not focused on winning (since there’s rarely, if ever, a true winner in litigation) and are solely focused on crafting solutions that meet the needs of both parties.
  6. Custom solutions.  Because the parties have control over the final resolution, it can be customized to their specific needs and interests, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all result that most often comes from a judge.

The pitfalls of litigation are numerous:

  1. It’s expensive.  Litigation is governed by a set of rules and procedures that require your attorney to work on posturing your case in front of the court, which often doesn’t yield any tangible results.  That time could be much better spent on developing solutions.
  2. It’s inconvenient.  Hearings will be scheduled and cancelled or postponed for a wide variety of reasons, often for reasons that cannot be avoided by your trial counsel.  You will inevitably take time off from work for a court date, only to have the hearing continued and you’ve now wasted a valuable day off from work for no reason.
  3. It’s uncertain.  Once your case (and future) are left in the hands of a judge, you have no control over the outcome of your case.  Court can be similar to playing the roulette table, never knowing what the judge might do.
  4. It’s stressful.  Paying your lawyer and legal costs stresses your finances .  Meeting with your lawyer and gathering hundreds of pages of documents stresses your time.  The uncertainty of what a judge may or may not do IS BEYOND STRESSFUL.

HOW THE COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE WORKS – The Key Elements

  • The parties and each of their respective attorneys agree to attempt to resolve their disagreements without going to court or threatening litigation, and the stakeholders agree that if litigation becomes necessary, the parties’ lawyers will withdraw and not represent the parties in court proceedings.
  • If experts are necessary to assist with evaluating certain aspects of the dispute, such as a real estate appraiser, the experts will be mutually hired and serve as a neutral expert.
  • A series of settlement conferences occur, during which both parties, their respective attorneys, and any others who might be involved (divorce coaches, neutral experts, etc.) come together with a predetermined agenda, to work on:
    • Identifying each party’s needs; and
    • Discovering mutually beneficial solutions to meet those needs;
    • Developing a plan to deploy those solutions;
    • Implementing those solutions through the preparation of a written, binding agreement, commonly referred to as a Separation Agreement.

Joe Schmitz brings to the table his years of experiences and delivers thoughtful and compassionate representation to his clients.  A North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law, Joe is ready to be the calm in your storm.  To schedule your initial consultation, call us at 336-714-2380 or contact our firm online here. From our office in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, we represent clients throughout the Triad.

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