Contrary to popular belief, a divorce need not be a highly-acrimonious display of tension, emotion and grief. Many divorcing couples are successful at dissolving their marriage under the principles of collaborative law. Collaborative law is governed by a three-fold set of goals:
- avoidance of litigation and judicial intervention;
- a good faith exchange of material and relevant evidence without formal discovery; and
- a promise by both parties to only engage in communications that advance the highest priorities of the divorce.
Sound too good to be true? On the contrary, the concept of collaborative divorce has been highly successful in many jurisdictions and its implementation has helped many families avoid the unnecessary pain and expense associated with this change in family dynamic.
Basics of Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative divorces still take into account all the necessary facets of marital breakup, including child support, alimony, custody, visitation and property division. The difference from that of a traditional divorce is that both parties’ attorneys, who are usually trained in the collaborative divorce process, meet together with the spouses to discuss each area with an eye toward problem-solving. In many collaborative divorces, an agreement is made beforehand that if the parties are unable to arrive at an agreement and require the use of the adversarial court system, each must find replacement counsel. Lawyers may also withdraw if either party is found to be concealing assets, lying about material information or otherwise engaging in bad faith.
The benefits of a collaborative divorce are virtually endless. A collaborative divorce can help preserve family unity and maintain harmony between all family members, which is especially important if children are involved. If you wish to remain friends with your ex-spouse, collaborative divorce helps to do away with the accusatorial nature of a traditional divorce, thereby allowing both of you to proceed with dignity and respect. Lastly, this type of approach is much less costly than a traditional divorce and avoids unnecessary time spent in court hearings and trials.
While this type of approach may not be for everyone, we encourage you to consider the benefits of working with a collaborative divorce attorney. Our knowledgeable legal team can help you explore your options and determine if this is the right option for your family. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.