Divorces are often portrayed as contentious and full of conflict. But it doesn’t have to be. Even the most painful separations may benefit from a process called collaborative law. Collaborative law is the process of working out a divorcing couple’s issues through a series of negotiations and discussions. In instances where both parties are willing to work through their issues, rather than fight it out in court, collaborative law is the way to a relatively amicable and potentially less stressful way to divorce your spouse.
What’s the difference between a traditional and collaborative divorce?
In a traditional divorce, it’s the judge that makes all of the biggest decisions for you. These decisions may include who gets what property, whether alimony should be granted, and who should be awarded child custody and child support. When a judge is involved, he or she is required to look at all of the evidence and make the best determination based on what is before him or her—but do those documents truly represent everything there is to know about you or your spouse for a truly meaningful decision?
On the other hand, couples who may be able to work out issues such as property division, financial issues, and child custody are great candidates for collaborative law. If there is even a possibility that either side is willing to be a party to a conversation, the better off you will be. Read on to find out if collaborative law is right for you.
Who gets involved in a collaborative divorce?
A collaborative divorce will likely involve attorneys on both sides, which would be necessary to protect both parties’ interests. However, instead of a judge making all of the decisions, parties would engage in collaborative discussions to resolve their issues. Because of this, experienced professionals and a mediator may also get involved to help both parties arrive at fair outcomes. A mediator is a disinterested party whose job is to remain neutral, see the situation objectively, and propose solutions. Experienced professionals like therapists, financial experts, child experts, and others can be hired to be a part of your team to participate and provide advice during the collaborative law process.
Who is best suited for collaborative divorce?
Couples who are not vindictive or extremely resentful towards the other may be best suited for collaborative divorce. So, if you and your spouse have remained on relatively good terms, a collaborative divorce may be best for your situation. But, even if the thought of your soon-to-be-ex sends chills down your spine, collaborative divorce may be the best option if you have no assets or have not been married very long. Even if you have children, most child custody, visitation, and support matters can be worked out in a collaborative divorce.
However, people seeking a divorce from an abusive spouse may in fact need judicial intervention. This is because judges have the power to deviate from the way things are typically done and put into place various safeguards with respect to a party’s safety and financial stability. A judge may be especially necessary for this situation if children are involved.
What reasons should I pursue a collaborative divorce?
If you meet the criteria above, you should consider a collaborative divorce if you want to save money and time in your divorce. Going through the court system is notoriously expensive because of various attorney and court costs. So, if saving money is a priority for you, consider a collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is also great for couples looking to resolve their issues quickly so that they can move on. Because the mediation process is typically short, you may be able to resolve any disputes in much less time than a traditional divorce.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the contentious divorces you’ve seen on tv or with people you know, call on us to help you through a collaborative divorce. Our compassionate attorneys are ready to help you move forward amicably and with dignity. Give us a call today for more information!