- What is it?
Collaborative divorce is a different way to divorce. For people who want to end their marriage, but do not want the stress and combat of a traditional divorce, it may be a better way.
This alternative, more private and dignified, offers the parties a way to restructure their family outside of the courtroom setting. The parties determine their fate, rather than a judge.
- How Does It Work
There are many options, but typically, each spouse selects an attorney to represent them, who has been specially trained in the collaborative process. The focus is on finding solutions that fit that particular family best, through full disclosure of information and respectful, effective communication.
Additionally, usually, the parties select a mutually acceptable financial professional and a mental health professional to help facilitate the process. The financial professional will assist the parties with maximizing their resources. The mental health professional will keep the parties focused on common goals and open, efficient discussion. The professionals work with the parties as a team. Therefore, conflict is minimized, allowing the parties to try to build a future plan which both parties find acceptable and workable.
While this process is appropriate in families without children, collaborative divorce is very helpful to minimize the negative impact that divorce can have on kids.
- How Much Does It Cost?
Often times, the collaborative process is less costly than traditional litigation, and sometimes much less costly. With litigation, costs can skyrocket and be unpredictable.
In the collaborative setting, the parties maintain control of expenditures. Therefore, there are no surprises. With the team approach, the costs can be managed through agreement. The parties can decide how to share the costs of the team members in a way that is manageable for both, rather than the Court ordering one party or the other to pay.
- How Long Does It Take?
Every case is a little different, but generally, the parties can reach a mutually agreeable solution within just a few meetings. These may take approximately two hours each, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Because the parties control the process, rather than a court docket, the divorce can be final often times much sooner than traditional litigation. The parties control the tempo.