Divorce is difficult. However, it does not need to be destructive. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, collaborative divorce law is an alternative to the usual adversarial approach to divorce litigation.
In the collaborative divorce model, divorcing parties work with their attorneys per a participation agreement that is signed before the collaborative meetings begin. The contract may include important conditions such as sharing financial and other important information honestly and willingly, shared respect, privacy and the commitment to work in good faith to resolve contested issues outside of court.
The divorcing couple and representative attorneys will conduct a series of four-way meetings to begin a negotiating process for resolving issues surrounding child custody and visitation, property and debt division and spousal support.
The objective of the CD is to create a win-win situation while keeping couples out of the courtroom. Collaborative divorce has several advantages, including:
- Cost. Traditional litigation can be expensive, with a final cost that can be highly unpredictable. Since couples usually reach an agreement more quickly, CD is less costly than litigating a case through trial.
- Privacy. Each party signs an agreement stating that all meetings and negotiations are strictly confidential. The CD process ensures that details of family assets and liabilities remain out of public view.
- Control. You have much more control over significant decisions based on collaborative negotiation instead of having a judge make the final decisions about important issues. An additional benefit is that couples get to negotiate a settlement on their schedule rather than the court’s.
- Stress. Many couples experience less stress and anxiety since they get to play a more active role in the divorce and because it takes place almost entirely outside the court system.
An overarching benefit of collaborative divorces is that you know that you and your spouse worked together to make life easier for everyone. The goal of CD is to settle peacefully and cooperatively before anyone files papers in divorce court.