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Collaborative divorce may be a better option than litigation

Divorce is a difficult experience often made tougher by a contentious courtroom battle, but marriage does not have to end this way.

You have options, one of which is collaborative divorce. This is a process gaining in popularity because of its focus on a reasonable, practical method for closing one chapter of your life and opening another.

Collaborative divorce defined

You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse would each engage the services of an attorney specially trained in collaborative divorce. The attorneys would provide guidance as you work out a settlement agreement satisfactory to you both. The process is private, which is important to couples who would rather not conduct their divorce in a public courtroom, and less expensive than lengthy litigation. You and your current husband or wife will meet separately with your respective attorneys, and the four of you will come together as necessary to complete the process of creating your divorce agreement.

Benefits of this process

You can expect to benefit from collaborative divorce in several ways:

  •         Exchange information voluntarily.
  •         Agree on legal procedures that will keep costs down.
  •         Negotiate a mutually satisfactory agreement.
  •         Stabilize current circumstances with a temporary agreement.
  •         Develop a process for making post-divorce decisions.

If you need additional help as you work toward a suitable agreement, you can bring in professionals such as an accountant, child custody specialist or social worker. Once you arrive at a settlement that works for the two of you, a judge will sign the agreement. As opposed to litigation, contact will be brief. There will be no need for interrogatories, hearings or any other type of legal maneuvers that traditional divorce proceedings require.

Advantages going forward

Collaborative divorce enforces the advantages of teamwork and open communication, and in so doing makes the transition to the post-divorce world easier. Divorcing parents also find that it is much less stressful for children than traditional divorce, which, in itself, is enough to recommend the process.

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