Divorce doesn’t always have to be ugly. If you’re going through a divorce or considering one, you probably share the fear of angry confrontations and animosity that divorce brings with many other couples. While mediation can be a good option for couples who want to minimize the negative effects of a divorce and handle the settlement on their own, it isn’t for everyone. Mediation can even negatively impact one of the spouses as it does not rely on the fair assessment of a lawyer for help. Collaborative divorce is an ideal option for couples who want to maintain some sort of relationship, and effectively and fairly divorce with the help of legal counsel. What is collaborative divorce and how does it work?
What Is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is when both parties seeking a divorce acquire individual representation. Then, through a series of 4 way meetings, the couple and their attorneys will work together to reach a fair and amicable settlement. Collaborative divorce is for couples who wish to avoid going to court or avoid building any extraneous animosity between them. The end goal is to have both parties happy with the settlement, rather than one happy and one unhappy.
The Job of Your Divorce Attorney
Collaborative divorce attorneys have specific job responsibilities they must follow to help their clients. They must be trained in negotiations and conflict resolution. They serve to advocate for their clients, maintain level-headedness, and reach a fair agreement. It is in the best interest of the attorney to help their client reach an agreement through collaborative divorce. Otherwise, if an agreement is not reached, the attorney or the attorney’s firm cannot represent the client in court. If you hire a collaborative attorney, and you withhold or pass false information to them, the attorney is required by law to inform your spouse and their representation and to remove themselves from the case. It is in your best interest to remain honest and forthcoming with your attorney, as they are there to represent and help you.
Many people appreciate the collaborative process as it can utilize the help of outside parties such as mental health professionals (among others). Your attorney or your spouse’s attorney have the ability to bring in an outside authority if they feel it will help the process of reaching an agreement. Both parties will be fully aware of the outside party’s presence and their intentions before entering the meeting. This is so both parties can prepare with their attorneys, and this goes for every meeting, not just the ones with an outside authority. As an agreement is reached, it is the responsibility of the collaborative divorce attorney to draft the settlement into a legally binding document. For an agreement to be reached, both parties must agree on all consecutive issues. There has to be unanimous agreement on each issue for a settlement to be reached in collaborative divorce.
If you are willing to negotiate with your partner, want to maintain a good relationship, and want to save money, a collaborative divorce may be the right option for you. Our experienced attorneys are skilled in the art of negotiation and conflict resolution. We want to help you and your soon-to-be ex spouse resolve your differences and come to an agreement that is best for both of your interests. Set up a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your options. Set yours up here.