What is Collaborative Divorce?
The concerns addressed in all divorces relate to the allocation of financial resources, and, when relevant, parenting responsibilities. The ultimate objective of Collaborative Divorce is to reach a final divorce settlement that meets the needs of all family members.
Collaborative Divorce is a unique, interdisciplinary approach in which the divorcing couple agrees to work with lawyers to assist in resolving the legal issues of divorce using cooperative strategies rather than adversarial techniques and court proceedings. To meet the unique questions raised by each of these concerns, Collaborative Divorce uses a team approach that brings the skills of financial, legal, and mental health professionals to the family to help the family to design the solution that works best for each unique situation.
How does Collaborative Divorce Work?
At the beginning of every Collaborative Divorce case, the lawyers, the divorcing couple, and the other professionals participating in the process enter into a written agreement that establishes certain guidelines. The foundation of this agreement is that the professionals involved disqualify themselves from participating in the divorce in the infrequent event that the couple is unable to reach a settlement and is forced to make the transition to litigation. By doing this, the professionals involved are committed to the success of the process. It allows people to identify their goals and interests free them from the emotional and financial cost of divorce litigation.
Collaborative Divorce relies on an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity, and professionalism in informal discussions and conferences to resolve all questions. Collaborative Divorce requires that the couple, with professional assistance, provide all pertinent documents and information relating to the questions to be addressed. If the couple concludes that expert advice would be helpful, Collaborative Divorce helps save money by encouraging the use of jointly retained experts. Everyone works together toward a shared resolution that is geared toward the future well being of the family.
What are the Advantages of Collaborative Divorce?
There are many advantages to Collaborative Divorce. Collaborative Divorce allows the family to be in control of its own future. The process is nearly always less time consuming and less costly than classic litigation. Collaborative Divorce uses a team approach to reaching a settlement. The professional team supports the divorcing couple while each works cooperatively with the other. Typically, the process is much less fear and anxiety producing than court proceedings or the threat of court proceedings. When the threat of going to court is out of the picture, it is easier to focus on the real concerns and come to a mutually acceptable agreement. When a settlement is reached amicably, it feels much more like a ‘win-win’ situation.
When the divorce is amicable and leads to an equitable settlements, everybody wins.