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What makes collaborative divorces different from traditional ones?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2023 | Divorce

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
  • Cost-effective
  • 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:

  1. Both parties hire attorneys who have collaborative divorce training.
  2. All parties sign an agreement to work together, with transparency, to resolve their issues without going to court.
  3. 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.
  4. Other professionals, such as child therapists, financial consultants, and divorce coaches, may join the process to provide expert advice and support.
  5. The divorcing couple and their attorneys meet to discuss and negotiate the divorce terms. These meetings are focused on problem-solving rather than confrontation.
  6. Once all issues are resolved, a settlement agreement that outlines all the terms will be drafted.
  7. 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.