Using Collaborative Divorce For A Better Way To End Your Marriage

If you are interested in ending your marriage in a new, less acrimonious manner, you may be interested in a collaborative divorce. Using this method of divorce does require that you and your spouse are able to converse with each other in a respectful and cooperative manner, since the central idea of a collaborative divorce is being able to agree on issues without involving the court system.

What is collaborative divorce?

The concept of the collaborative divorce is relatively new, and the idea has slowly gained popularity over the years. The use of collaborative divorce involves a team approach to the process, with the team members consisting of both you and your spouse's attorneys and others of your choosing. The idea of two attorneys from "opposing" sides working together seems radical, but attorneys that practice the specialty of collaborative divorce place a high priority on the best interests of the divorcing couple. In addition to the attorneys, some couples add child and family therapists and financial advisers, both of whom are neutral and work for both parties.

How the collaborative process works, step by step:

1.  Disclosure of all financial information, including income, assets and debt, both joint and private. Documentation provided at this juncture includes deeds, bank account information, tax returns, brokerage statements, etc.

2.  Meetings are held on a regular basis with team members to discuss issues, one issue at a time.

3.  Resolution of disputed issues is carried out using conflict resolution techniques. The trickiest issues are normally child and spousal support, child custody and visitation, and property and debt division.

4.  The drafting of the legally-binding divorce agreement, which is filed with the court.

Benefits of a collaborative divorce:

  • Financial: Any time that divorces have to be litigated before a judge, expenses will escalate. Every appearance before a judge will result in court fees. Collaborative divorces will normally only involve one appearance. Attorney's fees could be considerably less due to the open communication and cooperative aspect of a collaborative divorce.
  • Time: Court hearings often get scheduled months in advance and then are often delayed, resulting in a months-long divorce process. A collaborative divorce means a few weeks of productive meetings followed by one court appearance.
  • Stress: The process of collaboration fosters an attitude of cooperation, respect and fairness, resulting in a thoughtful and less acrimonious process between the divorcing parties.

Traditional divorces are often time-consuming and emotionally draining. If you and your spouse desire a kinder, gentler manner of ending your marriage, a collaborative divorce could be your answer.

For more information, contact legal offices like Hart Law Offices, PC.