Do you dread the idea of taking your private life into a public setting by airing your marital woes in front of a judge? Do you want to retain the most control over how your marriage ends and what happens afterward? Are you and your spouse committed to working through the business of divorce without resorting to an extended battle?
If you can say “yes” to all of those questions, it sounds like you and your spouse might be the kind of couples that collaborative divorces were designed to accommodate.
How does a collaborative divorce work?
Essentially, you and your spouse must agree to a good-faith effort to resolve any disputes and promise to negotiate fairly — with no attempt to keep anything (documents or assets) hidden. You each will work with an attorney of your own before a neutral coach. You can even use experts, like financial advisors, to help settle things — but both of you temporarily agree to give up your rights to take the divorce to court. (If the negotiations fall apart, then you can proceed with a litigated divorce but you will essentially have to start over again and use new attorneys.)
The time and expense of a failed attempt at collaboration provides a dual incentive for both parties to really do their best to come to a workable agreement. After all, nobody wants to see their divorce process grind to a halt while each party finds new representation — nor are they likely to want the additional expense.
One of the best parts about a collaborative divorce is that you and your spouse stay in control of everything from how long the process takes to the most intimate details of your agreement. If you’d like more information on how collaborative divorces work, contact our office or continue to explore our site.