Filing for divorce with the court is time-consuming, expensive and conflictive. You are already going through a hard time, and going to trial with your ex may feel overwhelming at the moment. However, it is not necessary to do this. If you and your spouse believe that you can reach an agreement out of the court, you could go for a collaborative divorce instead.
What is collaborative divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a process in which you can file for divorce without going to trial. In this type of divorce, both parties meet with their lawyers in a comfortable setting where they can discuss how they want to handle the issues related to the divorce, like child support, custody and property division. You must not confuse this process with mediation, as in collaborative divorce there is not a neutral party that helps the couple reach an agreement. Instead, this process involves two lawyers that are advocates to each party.
The advantages of collaborative divorce
Another difference between traditional and collaborative divorce is that the latter involves mental health and financial specialists, who will advise you and your spouse when making decisions concerning your child or property. Also, collaborative divorce is private, and anything discussed during the process will be concealed from the public. Overall, the advantages of collaborative divorce are:
- It saves money and time
- It is private and confidential
- It allows the spouses to have a high level of control over the process
- It takes place in a comfortable setting in which the spouses can negotiate and discuss their options
- It allows the parties to decide how to handle post-settlement disputes
- It has a mix of professional guidance
- It allows the spouses to propose creative and unrestrictive ideas to settle
This type of divorce is less stressful because it allows you to speak openly and come to common grounds with your ex in a respectful manner. It is also less conflicting because you and your spouse will sign an agreement that states that no one can threaten to send the case to the court nor participate in litigation against the other party.
Reaching an agreement
If you opt for a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will each need to find a lawyer to represent you during the process. The lawyer you choose must have experience in this practice. Once you have chosen your lawyer, you will meet with them privately to discuss what you want to achieve with the process. Then, both of you will meet with your spouse and their lawyer to have an open discussion. The mental health and finance professionals will be present in these meetings as well. Once you have decided on the terms of the divorce, you and your spouse will sign a written agreement to validate the divorce, its terms and its obligations.
A better solution
The collaborative divorce may not only benefit you and your spouse but your children as well. Fighting in court can worsen your relationship with your spouse, and that would negatively affect your children. The calm setting, the experienced lawyers and the mental health and financial experts will let you and your spouse make the best decisions without the court’s costly and lengthy process.