Understanding Collaborative Divorce
For those who are considering divorce, the prospect of a lengthy and expensive legal battle can be daunting. To avoid having a contentious divorce and a lengthy trial, many people consider alternative dispute resolution methods, such as a collaborative divorce. Below, we will discuss what this type of divorce entails, its benefits, and how you can determine whether a collaborative divorce is right for you.
What Is a Collaborative Divorce?
A collaborative divorce is an approach to ending a marriage that allows both parties and their respective attorneys to collaborate in order to reach an agreement outside of court. It is designed to be less adversarial and less costly than traditional litigation, as both parties agree not to go to court or involve judges in the process. In other words, it’s a voluntary process that encourages negotiation and communication between the two sides.
What Does Collaborative Divorce Entail?
A collaborative divorce typically involves two attorneys—one for each spouse—and both spouses. The process can also involve any other professionals who can help resolve the issues at hand. This could include child psychologists, financial advisors, social workers, or real estate professionals, depending on the individual needs of the couple.
The goal of the collaborative process is to come up with solutions that are fair and beneficial for both parties involved in the divorce. This means that each party must be willing to compromise and make concessions if needed so that everyone can move forward with their lives in a positive way.
To begin the process, in most cases, both spouses will need to obtain attorneys. Once you have retained counsel, you can discuss your case and develop a plan to help you get what you want from your divorce.
After having met with your attorneys separately, both parties along with their attorneys can begin meeting to negotiate. During your initial meeting, you may be asked to sign a participation agreement that states they will not go through litigation and instead will work together to reach an amicable resolution to their divorce issues.
Then, you all can begin negotiating. In the following meetings, you should be working to make progress toward finalizing the terms of your divorce (i.e. alimony, child custody, property division, etc.). The attorneys involved in the process will help guide both parties towards this goal by providing legal advice and representing their client’s best interests throughout negotiations.
The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
There are numerous benefits associated with using collaborative divorce as opposed to traditional litigation. The biggest benefit is cost savings; while attorney fees in a collaborative divorce are typically more extensive, the collaborative divorce process is much less expensive than litigating.
A collaborative divorce also eliminates much of the animosity that can accompany traditional divorces by encouraging both parties to negotiate in good faith rather than fighting each other in court. Finally, since the process takes place outside of the courtroom, couples can avoid airing their private matters in court, which can become public records.
Is a Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
When considering the best route for your divorce, it's important to consider both spouses' opinions on the collaborative efforts needed to negotiate. If you and your partner are willing and able to work together amicably, then a collaborative process could be beneficial; however, if there is a history of domestic violence or extreme animosity between spouses, filing for contested divorce may be necessary.
Consult with Our Divorce Attorney
Collaborative divorce offers many advantages over traditional litigation when it comes to divorcing couples seeking an amicable resolution outside of court proceedings. If you are considering getting divorced, our attorney can advise you on whether a collaborative divorce is right for you. Attorney Bernstein can also discuss other alternative dispute resolution options with you and/or help you pursue a contested or uncontested divorce.
Call (727) 312-1112 to schedule an initial consultation with our attorney today!