What is an alternative divorce? - New York News

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>>

  • Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:31:15 GMT
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
  • Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:11:30 GMT
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
  • I-Team Investigation

    Former Douglas Co. D.A. office manager indicted

    Former Douglas Co. D.A. office manager indicted

    Sunday, July 27 2014 3:24 PM EDT2014-07-27 19:24:49 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.

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Will they melt? Good Day tests Walmart ice cream sandwiches

    Will they melt? Good Day tests Walmart ice cream sandwiches

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:48:05 GMT
    A summertime treat makes headlines for its reported unusual longevity. A mom in Cincinnati, Ohio told WCPO-TV that she left her son's Walmart ice cream sandwich outside overnight- and it never fully melted!
    A summertime treat makes headlines for its reported unusual longevity. A mom in Cincinnati, Ohio told WCPO-TV that she left her son's Walmart ice cream sandwich outside overnight- and it never fully melted!
  • Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:44:05 GMT
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:14:05 GMT
    One of the two deputy U.S. marshals shot in the West Village was released from the hospital on Tuesday. The marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with fugitive sexual assault suspect Charles Richard Mozdir, officials said. The shootout happened in a smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street. Mozdir was killed.
    One of the two deputy U.S. marshals shot in the West Village was released from the hospital on Tuesday. The marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with fugitive sexual assault suspect Charles Richard Mozdir, officials said. The shootout happened in a smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street. Mozdir was killed.
  • Queens teen pleads guilty in crash that killed 4 friends on Long Island

    Queens teen pleads guilty in crash that killed 4 friends on Long Island

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:54 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:54:40 GMT
    A New York teenager has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in a 2012 high-speed crash that killed four of his friends and split his new car in two. Joseph Beer entered the plea Tuesday. He faces five to 15 years in prison, though his attorney is seeking youthful offender status because he was 17 at the time.
    A New York teenager has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in a 2012 high-speed crash that killed four of his friends and split his new car in two. Joseph Beer entered the plea Tuesday. He faces five to 15 years in prison, though his attorney is seeking youthful offender status because he was 17 at the time.
  • Scenes for "Girls" to be shot at SUNY New Paltz

    Scenes for "Girls" to be shot at SUNY New Paltz

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:51:27 GMT
    Some scenes for the HBO series "Girls" will be shot at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  The series star and creator Lena Dunham will reportedly be directing scenes Tuesday afternoon on the campus 75 miles north of New York City.
    Some scenes for the HBO series "Girls" will be shot at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  The series star and creator Lena Dunham will reportedly be directing scenes Tuesday afternoon on the campus 75 miles north of New York City.
Powered by WorldNow
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