What is an alternative divorce? - FOX 35 News Orlando

FOX 5 I-Team investigates

What is an alternative divorce?

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA, Ga. -

At least 50 percent of married couples will get a divorce. Over the years it's been done in the same manner -- two clients and two lawyers.

A custody battle, a fight over finances, and anger could make the divorce proceedings extremely nasty. Usually one side loses, perhaps both. But what if both sides could win? The Furneys say they won by taking an alternative route to get a divorce.

Anna and Chris Furney play tennis together, have three great kids, and share a busy online calendar. They are not married. They're happily divorced.  

"It's taken, obviously, many years to get to this," said Chris Furney.

They split in 2007 in what they both say started out extremely contentious.

"It looked really bad then. I mean, it was, there were some really cloudy days, some really awful days," said Chris.

They did finally agree on one thing they didn't want; a Furney family sequel to the 80s black comedy, War of the Roses. The Gurneys re-wrote the script and chucked the traditional divorce lawyer. They went with something more couples are doing; a divorce that is called integrated, innovative, sometimes collaborative.  

"It's a collaboration, it's not combat," said Anna Furney.

Instead of pitting one side against another in a lawyer's office, everyone sits down together. No lawyers are present. Instead, it's a financial planner and a family counselor.  They work for both sides to come up with a divorce plan that everyone can live with.

"They give you approaches for solving disagreements, just, you know, to try to let the emotion dissipate. And then if we couldn't decide they would have us step back and understand, like, really how important is this to you," said Chris.

With no court deadlines, they worked slowly on a plan to figure out what to do with the house, their retirement fund and custody options. Once a plan was formed, they did a test drive.

"We tried different schedules with the kids changed those up a little bit. We got to practice pick ups and drop offs," said Chris.

Bob Bordett is a financial planner who runs Divorce Innovations where the goal is to get divorcing couples to work together.

"I have a couple that is just really starting the process. They met the other day and they were talking about certain issues and living arrangements and all of a sudden a light went off, 'Oh, you know what, we can do this and we can do this, and here's how we handle that.' Something they've never thought of," said Bordett.

The Furneys say they were never able to save their marriage but this kinder, gentler divorce helped them save their relationship.

"And now we're actually able to treat each other with a lot of respect and we've actually become friends again," said Anna.

The Furneys say they spent a total of three hours with attorneys to finalize their plan. It was a plan they agreed to. They feel like they saved a lot of money going this route.

Here are a few links to organizations that offer alternative divorces:

DIVORCE INNOVATIONS

ATLANTA COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ALLIANCE

COLLABORATIVE LAW CENTER OF ATLANTA

STEARNS, MONTGOMERY & PROCTOR

NORA KALB BUSHFIELD

EVIN SOMERSTEIN

REBECCA HOELTING, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY

MARY BETH HEBERT

DIVORCE MONEY MATTERS: LISA C. DECKER

APPLIED DIVORCE SOLUTIONS

DIVORCE FINANCIAL PLANNERS

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Whistleblower Seeks Sanctions Against Attorney General's Office

    Whistleblower Seeks Sanctions Against Attorney General's Office

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:59:29 GMT
    In a letter, obtained exclusively by the Fox 5 I-Team, former Ethics director Stacey Kalberman's plans to seek sanctions against the state Attorney General's office.
    More controversy involving the State Ethics Commission. In a letter, obtained exclusively by the Fox 5 I-Team, former Ethics director Stacey Kalberman's plans to seek sanctions against the state Attorney General's office.
  • FOX 5 I-Team Investigation

    State proposes action for home elevator safety

    State proposes action for home elevator safety

    Friday, July 25 2014 2:12 PM EDT2014-07-25 18:12:46 GMT

    The state is inching closer to closing a gap that should make residential elevators safer for children .It was the I-Team's stories about children nationwide being hurt that prompted the state to propose an emergency amendment to the state code.

    The state is inching closer to closing a gap that should make residential elevators safer for children .It was the I-Team's stories about children nationwide being hurt that prompted the state to propose an emergency amendment to the state code.

  • I-Team Investigation

    Former Douglas Co. D.A. office manager indicted

    Former Douglas Co. D.A. office manager indicted

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:30 PM EDT2014-07-25 16:30:44 GMT
    There are major new developments today in the state investigation of the Douglas County District Attorney's office. Tammy Agan, the former office manager, has been indicted on 58 counts of theft and making false statements.
    There are major new developments today in the state investigation of the Douglas County District Attorney's office. Tammy Agan, the former office manager, has been indicted on 58 counts of theft and making false statements.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Stars of 'Get On Up' The Story of James Brown, visit Good Day

    Stars of 'Get On Up' The Story of James Brown, visit Good Day

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:55 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:55:46 GMT
    In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award®-nominated blockbuster The Help, Tate Taylor directs 42’s Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in GET ON UP.
    In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award®-nominated blockbuster The Help, Tate Taylor directs 42’s Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in GET ON UP.
  • Good Day Atlanta

    Pike Nurseries: Attracting Hummingbirds

    Pike Nurseries: Attracting Hummingbirds

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:05 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:05:09 GMT
    Hummingbirds and other winged wildlife can add beautiful color and movement to a garden. You can enjoy the stunning sights and sounds of these featured friends, while also helping them access food, shelter, water and sunlight with hummingbird gardening.
    Hummingbirds and other winged wildlife can add beautiful color and movement to a garden. You can enjoy the stunning sights and sounds of these featured friends, while also helping them access food, shelter, water and sunlight with hummingbird gardening.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices