Contrary to popular opinion, ending your marriage is not a ‘one size fits all’ process—and not just because each couple has different finances and family situation. The process getting from the decision to file to the final divorce judgment is different as well. For some couples, mediation is the right answer because they feel they can come to a mutual decision on all major issues with some guidance. In a more acrimonious situation, going to court is the only way to settle important issues for the final divorce judgment. If you feel you and your spouse need a process somewhere in the middle, collaborative divorce may be the right process for your divorce.
What is collaborative divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a hybrid of mediation and litigation. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse has their own lawyer (who has experience and expertise in a collaborative divorce). The couple and their respective lawyers meet together to come to an agreement on major issues (i.e. finances, custodial, etc.) As needed, other experts also come to the meetings as well. These experts could include an accountant, child custody specialist, or other party. With collaborative divorce, there is some time spent in a courtroom but that time is minimal because major issues have been decided.
Can a collaborative divorce save money?
A collaborative divorce can be less expensive than going to court for your divorce. It can also be more convenient and take less time because you are scheduling the appointments rather than waiting for the next court date.
Is a collaborative divorce confidential?
An advantage of a collaborative divorce is the ability to keep everything confidential up to the final judgment. There are exceptions; the best way to find out more is to ask your divorce attorney for information. The final judgment is a matter of public record.
How do I initiate a collaborative divorce?
If you are interested in a collaborative divorce, contact a local divorce attorney with experience in this area. Ask the attorney for more information about the possibility of a collaborative divorce at your initial consultation. They can guide you through the process, and answer any questions you may have.