What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a legal divorce process in which couples negotiate terms of their divorce outside of court. In collaborative divorce, the parties jointly agree to use the collaborative process, they each retain their own attorney and they jointly select the other professionals that will be involved. Often, these professionals are a financial advisor and at least one type of counselor, such as a therapist, family therapist or parenting counselor.
Once the collaborative team is formed, the team will work together to reach an amicable resolution for both parties. Each attorney will keep in mind the needs of his or her client and advocate for that party in a collegial and professional manner. The team will negotiate the specific terms that will need to be incorporated into a final agreement and make sure that everyone’s best interest is taken into account.
In order to be part of a collaborative divorce team, the attorneys and other professionals must all have been certified in the collaborative divorce process. This is essential so that everyone involved understands the manner in which to negotiate and knows how to work toward a final and comprehensive resolution. A final divorce agreement procured through the collaborative process is similar to an agreement that has been negotiated or litigated on court. It will include all of the essential terms of the divorce, including property division, asset distribution, spousal support, child custody and child support, as applicable.
If either party is unwilling to participate, the collaborative process will not work. Therefore, if either party chooses to file the divorce in court, then the collaborative process will need to end. It is essential to retain an attorney who has the appropriate background and training in collaborative law so that the attorney is able and willing to use alternative dispute resolution techniques. When collaborative techniques are used, the entire team can work together to achieve an equitable resolution for both parties, as well as a comprehensive parenting plan that takes into account not only the children’s best interest, but also the schedules and desires of the parents to set them up for a successful co-parenting relationship.
Before deciding to move forward with the collaborative process, both parties must determine that it is the correct route for both of them. There cannot be any “mud-slinging,” or dishonesty, or snippy comments. The parties truly need to want to work together to reach the final resolution and also need to be of a similar mindset to achieve that.
If you have questions regarding collaborative divorce, or are seeking an attorney trained in collaborative law, contact us and let Wolf & Shore Law Group go to work for you and help make your family law matter easier, not harder. Ever Argue with a Woman? Click here, call us at 203.745.315, or email us at email@example.com.