What is Collaborative Divorce and How it Functions?
It is unquestionably difficult to be separated from someone you have loved for a long time. And when you decide to take such a step, you must be cocksure about that. As a result, you may want to simplify an already challenging situation. Divorce generally requires money, time, attorneys, and sometimes a lengthy legal battle as well. Albeit, some states suggest divorce alternatives, such as legal separation, for couples. But even for this strategy, you and your partner must be on the same page. In accordance to resolute these issues, you can opt for collaborative divorce.
Collaborative divorce is a legal process that allows partners to reach an agreement on their own terms. You and your partner do not have to go to court and argue or accuse one another. With the guidance of a divorce lawyer, couples go through negotiation and mediation to reach an agreement. These could include things like debt and property split, spousal support, child custody, and other vital aspects of the separation.
How does Collaborative Divorce Work?
Unlike other phases of divorce, collaborative divorce is a more mature procedure. The following are the steps that one goes through under collaborative divorce:
- It’s preferable to start with your own home before moving on to the outside. Try to have an initial conversation with your spouse. You need to ensure that both of you are willing to cooperate in this collaborative procedure. You both need to have a flexible mindset and are eager to make a mutual deal. The less hassle you get to handle, the better you can take care of your mental health, which is essential during this time.
- Both the parties need to hire their respective attorney. You need to make sure to choose someone who understands and believes in mutual negotiation. And is also supportive enough of mediation. In the courtroom, your attorney must not take a strong advocate approach to your case. Your attitude might work against you during the palter. They could perhaps primarily reflect your interests.
- It is better to meet your attorney privately before making anything final. Make sure to let your attorney know what your demands are. Also, remember that you might need to compromise in some places. Clear out those limitations with your attorney. It is better to have a transparent idea about the extent to which you can stretch your goals from the beginning. For instance, you decide to ask for $300 per week for child support. You also know that you won’t be able to manage below $200. These are the factors you need to decide firsthand with your attorney before the arbitration begins.
- Both you and your attorney should fix a meeting with your spouse and their attorney. This type of “four-way” meeting must take place often. These discussions aim to eliminate all possible arguments and hassles that can arise later on. A previously done discussion helps the case to run smoothly and faster.
- Collaborative divorces sometimes involve additional professionals like accountants and child custody specialists. They must be unbiased in their decision. Hence, make sure they are party neutrals. Generally, this sort of personality often comes up with the best consensus. You might not even need to enter the court in such cases.
- Sometimes both parties find it difficult to have a mutual agreement. It is when a licensed mediator is appointed to rest the case. These mediators possess an in-depth knowledge of the procedures and the law. They are well-skilled and strategic. They aim to guide the parties to agree on a particular decision to their satisfaction.
- The divorcing couple, including their attorney, needs to sign a “no court” agreement. This deal directs the respective attorneys to withdraw if the case continues to litigation in court. In that case, both parties need to find a new legal team for their support.
- One important thing to remember is you must not hide any necessary information. Information on tax returns, salary, employment, or anything with debts and assets must be present on the desk. Hiding financial details can interrupt your case later. There is nothing like divorce discovery in this type of separation. Thus, you need to rely on your partner’s words during the procedure. But later, if any one of you discovers any deception, that individual can reopen the case. That can eventually alter the previously decided settlement.
- You need to contact any domestic or family relations court to file for divorce papers. You can also file for a settlement agreement after undergoing a collaborative law divorce. This filing procedure will be more effortless and uncontested.
What are the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce?
Divorce cases are, by their very nature, sensitive. You might not dream of experiencing the same. But if not done properly and correctly that one time, you may have to go through everything again, that too with the same person. And that is even worse if you are trying to move on. Thus, you need to be very careful when you opt for divorce. It is why collaborative divorce is considered the best and safest divorce option to proceed with.
The following are the benefits that one gets to experience under this type of separation procedure:
- It is Entirely Confidential: Collaborative divorces are entirely private. Generally, in a traditional divorce, you and your attorney have a confidential discussion. There you come up with strategies to accomplish your goals. However, in collaborative divorce, the story is a little bit different. Your goals here get achieved without destroying your bond with your partner. You don’t even need to indulge your community estate in a court battle. The procedure takes place in a room different from a courtroom setting. This room provides enough space for required resources and is completely out of the eyes of the public.
- Careful towards Client, Family, and Child: A divorce is already a complicated procedure to undergo. It gets more difficult due to its linkage with so many people’s emotions and expectations. But collaborative divorce approaches toward a mutual settlement that focuses on finding a resolution. It respects the integrity and feelings of everyone associated with the divorce. It maintains an emotionally safe surrounding for toddlers and other family members. Parents opting for divorce get to protect and nurture their children better and together under collaborative divorce.
- It is Customizable and has Variations: This separation type is an innovative form of settlement for couples. In traditional divorces, it is the judge who controls the case. But here, the divorcing parties decide to find out customized solutions as per their convenience. There are also trained professionals to help them in this decision-making process. There are maximum chances of positive outcomes both for the family and the couple.
- No Need to Involve Court: Nobody prefers to engage in the hassle of court. In collaborative divorce, clients get the opportunity to sign a deal that they pledge to agree on. This way, both the partners can avoid going to court and settle into a mutual agreement. The couple here gets enough time and space to make a satisfactory negotiation.
- It is more Convenient: Unlike the traditional procedures, you don’t need to follow any particular date dictated by a third party, like the court. For collaborative divorce, you can flexibly schedule any date as per your convenience. You get to balance your work life and personal life equally. You also get the opportunity to schedule meetings where you can bring your family members.
- No Need to Worry about Expenses: Collaborative divorce is one of the most cost-effective and efficient divorce methods. The motive of this type of divorce is to help the couple find solutions. Thus, the couple here directly invests in resolving their matters. And not make a hole in their pocket in costly litigation.
While separating emotionally might not be easy, you can at least turn the legal procedure easier. Through collaborative divorce, you and your partner can experience a respectful separation. A separation doesn’t need to be rough all the time. It can be done peacefully if there is no compromise involved. And you get that opportunity in collaborative divorce.
Collaborative divorce lets you and your partner settle into a deal that benefits everybody. Both parties can demand their needs and make a mutual settlement. This saves your relationship from getting bitter. It also helps you to start the new venture of your life positively.