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A "good divorce" may sound like a contradiction in terms. But good divorces are possible, says attorney Ron Supancic of ReSolution Family Law: No Court Divorce. "We like to say that we offer clients a better divorce," he says, "one that’s compassionate, conscious, and caring towards children." Supancic’s firm, practicing in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, takes a non-adversarial, collaborative approach to divorce. "My associate, Debra Dawn Carr, and I believe that the traditional role of a lawyer in conflict resolution is obsolete, counterproductive, and destructive to families," he explains. "We choose instead to assist families' attempt to resolve conflict lovingly, allowing for divorce with dignity while saving time and money."
With no court divorce, both parties work together, with their attorneys and other professionals, to restructure their relationship in ways that will reduce economic hardship as well as psychological injury to children. "You will be involved with your children’s other parent for the rest of your life," says Supancic. "With no court divorce, you have the ability to make this a healthier relationship."
There are six basic steps to the no court divorce process: assessment, intervention, issue identification, process selection, initiation of the legal procedure, and closure. For the process to have a successful outcome, the involved parties must agree to work together towards a singular common goal of reaching a fair settlement of all issues. If they fail to reach agreement, and either party decides to go to litigation, the attorneys agree to disqualify themselves. As the collaborative journey winds its way through legal, emotional, financial, and spiritual issues, the firm engages the services of professionals with expertise in specific areas of the divorce process, says Supancic. These individuals disqualify themselves and cannot assist either party if the matter goes to court. Both spouses and their attorneys also sign binding commitments to disclose voluntarily all relevant information, to proceed with respect and in good faith, and to refrain from any threat of litigation during the process.
A child of divorce himself (he was also best man in his parents’ remarriage some 36 years later), Supancic has long been interested in the non-adversarial approach to divorce and is committed to helping families. Admitted to the California Bar Association in 1970, he has been a mediator with the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 1976. In 1980, Supancic became one of the first lawyers to be certified by the Bar Association as a Family Law Specialist. He is also the founder of the Coalition for Collaborative Divorce, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing divorce needs in a positive and cooperative manner, and author of three books about family law.
Through his work, Supancic has learned that no court divorce can yield much more than just a divorce decree. "Divorce is a process, not an event," he says. "It results in a ‘ReSolution,’ a transformation from one solution into two distinct solutions, which are different, but do not lose their integrity. It requires a new mindset, one that puts relationships ahead of financial considerations. When this happens, there is an opening for a new, reorganized family with greater potential for satisfaction and self-fulfillment than was previously possible."
Now that’s a good divorce