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Grigg makes divorce collaborative

By: Justin Kern//September 17, 2014//

Grigg makes divorce collaborative

By: Justin Kern//September 17, 2014//

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Kathryn Grigg, attorney,   Axley Brynelson LLP,   Madison
Kathryn Grigg, attorney,   Axley Brynelson LLP,  Madison

Couples that go to Kathryn Grigg for divorce representation sometimes end up living together.

Grigg, an attorney at Axley Brynelson LLP, Madison, has been a leader in collaborative divorce, which is designed to help couples find a point of agreement and then negotiate the divorce from that perspective.

In one case, for instance, Grigg represented the parent of an autistic child who required a heightened level of stability at home. The parents split up, but Grigg and another collaborative attorney helped the couple settle on a deal under which the parents essentially lived under the same roof long after the divorce was finalized.

“An arrangement like that seems inconceivable under the traditional divorce method,” Grigg said. “In collaborative, you really have a lot of brainstorming and creativity over ideas about what is best to do for the family as a whole, even when they’re not going to be the same family anymore.”

Collaborative divorce does not work for everyone, nor does it represent the majority of Grigg’s divorce and family law caseload. Grigg said she has been involved in cases during which the collaborative efforts fell apart when “adversarial” attitudes dominated.

Divorce in general is not a part of Grigg’s background. The Pewaukee native’s parents have been together for more than three decades, and she has been married for six and is expecting a child in January.

Grigg started in divorce law as a subset of family law cases during her first four years as an attorney with a different firm. And her involvement with collaborative divorce has had an effect on the lives of her clients.

For example, Brian Bott, a Madison-area fitness instructor, and his wife Kristin opted to go the collaborative process with their divorce last year. He said they both saw it as the best approach for their three boys.

It was the first time the couple had heard of collaborative divorce, Brian Bott said. But Grigg explained the process and added a sense of calm to what often is a combative situation, he said.

“[Grigg] didn’t have any problem with saying that … something’s probably not going to work,” Brian Bott said. “And then she’d work toward more of a middle ground with me and my ex-partner.”


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