Some couples know when their marriage is no longer working. Still, they may stay together because the thought of the lengthy and expensive divorce process feels overwhelming.
For them, a collaborative divorce may offer an alternate solution.
The benefits of a collaborative divorce
Traditional divorces are typically considered more adversarial. The opposing sides meet in a courtroom, with each fighting for their own best interests. They can be time-consuming, costly, and emotionally draining with the final decisions regarding asset division, child custody, and spousal support.
In contrast, a collaborative divorce involves both parties working together to negotiate outcomes without going to court. The goal is to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
There are several advantages to a collaborative divorce, such as:
- It encourages cooperation and communication, which can lead to a better co-parenting relationship
- More control over the outcome
- The collaborative process is confidential, unlike court proceedings, which are public record
- Faster resolution
Furthermore, if children are involved, their needs and interests often take priority in a collaborative divorce.
The collaborative process typically involves the following steps:
- Both parties hire attorneys who have collaborative divorce training.
- All parties sign an agreement to work together, with transparency, to resolve their issues without going to court.
- Both parties meet with their attorneys to discuss what they hope to get out of the process. They also gather all the necessary information regarding finances, property and children.
- Other professionals, such as child therapists, financial consultants, and divorce coaches, may join the process to provide expert advice and support.
- The divorcing couple and their attorneys meet to discuss and negotiate the divorce terms. These meetings are focused on problem-solving rather than confrontation.
- Once all issues are resolved, a settlement agreement that outlines all the terms will be drafted.
- The agreement is submitted to the court for approval. If approved, the court will issue a divorce decree, finalizing the process.
A collaborative divorce isn’t the best option for everyone, especially if the situation is highly contentious or there is a history of abuse. But, if you feel it may be an alternative resolution, then it’s essential to discuss your situation with someone who can guide you through the process.