If you want to avoid costly litigation and maintain a respectful relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you might consider a collaborative divorce. As an innovative and increasingly preferred method of handling family law matters, the collaborative divorce process is interest-based, focused on the agreement, and encouraging flexible solutions.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
In a contested divorce, litigation in court is necessary to come to solutions regarding asset and property division, custody, and other divorce issues. This often involves adversarial approaches and inflexible positions, creating tension and adding to the already harrowing process of divorce. With collaborative divorce, you will avoid the destruction traditional litigation can cause and facilitate resolutions with your spouse, rather than against them. You will also spend much more of your hard-earned money on a litigated divorce versus a collaborative one.
Collaborative divorce only works when both parties agree to use it. Each spouse and his or her lawyer will sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement at the beginning of the process. This agreement outlines that each spouse will negotiate in good faith and avoid litigation. If the negotiations break down and one or both parties decide to go to court, both attorneys must withdraw and the clients hire new representation. This stipulation ensures that the parties aren’t enlisting “hired guns” who will automatically side with the party who pays and gives the collaborative lawyer the responsibility of bringing the process to a successful outcome.
Collaborative divorce negotiations take place during a series of structured joint sessions. During these meetings, both spouses and their attorneys sit down to informally discuss the resolution of the divorce. There will also normally be other experts present such as financial advisors, mental health professionals or child specialists to join the collaborative team as neutral parties. Again, thanks to the Collaborative Participation Agreement, any party brought into negotiations will be working toward a peaceful, beneficial resolution.
The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
Perhaps the best benefit of a collaborative divorce is that the clients themselves craft the terms of their divorce, rather than having a judge, jury, or other third party decide the outcome for them. This allows for more flexible solutions, as well as evading the feelings of ill will and disdain traditional litigation can cause.
Other benefits of collaborative divorce include:
- Avoiding costly litigation
- Keeping the children out of the middle of a war between their parents
- Maintaining respect between both parties (and extended families)
- Employing neutral parties to benefit the family
- Finding flexible solutions without battling your spouse
- Emphasizing cooperation and problem-solving strategies
Often, a collaborative divorce will also result in more long-term solutions than litigation or contested divorce – especially since both parties agree to its terms willingly.
Contact a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
At Hance Law Group, we firmly believe most divorces or family law disputes can benefit from collaborative divorce. Our qualified lawyers will work with you, your spouse, your spouse’s lawyer, and other neutral professionals to facilitate negotiations. If you’re ready to begin finding solutions for your divorce in good faith through collaborative divorce, contact us today at 469-378-5467
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