Today there is more than one way to get divorced and many couples are moving away from traditional litigation oriented divorce towards a new alternative that keeps them out of a courtroom and still on speaking terms with one other. Learn more about this method, known as collaborative divorce, and ascertain if it might be a good fit for you.
In a collaborative divorce, each spouse hires a specially trained collaborative attorney. You meet separately with your own attorney and the four of you meet together with a neutral financial professional and facilitator for a series of meetings to negotiate an acceptable agreement. (Other professionals, such as child specialists, may be included in the process if deemed helpful to a harmonious outcome.) If you come to an agreement, the divorce is considered uncontested and your agreement will be signed by a family court judge.
The benefits of the collaborative approach are many and include:
1. Minimized conflict. In traditional divorce proceedings, it often becomes a win-lose battle; in a collaborative divorce, the couple works together, rather than against one another, to reach a needs based overall outcome – creating a win-win scenario. This is particularly important in divorces that include children, where many times they suffer most from their parents’ animosity and anger.
2. More control. Instead of relinquishing major decisions about your future (child support, division of property, alimony, etc.) to a judge, you will be actively crafting the solutions for your future.
3. Reduced cost. Engaging in Pre-Trial Litigation and by not going to trial, you save big money on legal fees, particularly by avoiding the discovery process in which your attorney looks for hidden assets or property or explore other issues in your case. You will also reduce the cost of experts (accountants, child psychologist, etc.) since you won’t each be hiring your own.
4. Faster process. Divorce proceedings can drag on for years. A collaborative divorce takes much less time- meaning less hardship for the children involved and a sooner start date on the next chapter of your life.
5. A custom fitted solution. Collaborative divorces allow you to get very situational specific in attempting to meet the needs of your family. The agreement that works best for the two of you may not be something that a judge would have ever come up with.
There are now more options than ever when it comes to divorce. In order to determine which is the best fit for your particular situation, consult with an experienced divorce lawyer once you have made the decision to divorce.