When it comes to ending your marriage, litigation can be emotionally and financially draining.
If you are facing a high-asset divorce, you may want a process that is effective but more respectful of your time, money and fragile state of mind. Collaborative divorce is an option to consider.
The way it works
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will use professional help to develop a divorce agreement that is satisfactory to you both. You will each hire an attorney specially trained in collaborative law to provide guidance and assist in negotiating a settlement. You will meet separately with your attorneys, but the four of you will also meet on a regular schedule.
What to expect
There are many advantages to collaborative divorce as compared to litigation:
- You and your spouse will exchange information voluntarily.
- You will agree on simplified procedures that reduce expenses.
- You can establish a temporary agreement to stabilize your situation.
- You will work together to determine how to effectively handle post-divorce issues.
Many couples also appreciate the privacy of collaborative divorce versus having to air their differences in a public courtroom. Although you will eventually have to appear in front of a judge, your time in court will be brief. Once you and your spouse agree on all the issues, you set the foundation for an uncontested divorce procedure. A judge will sign the agreement you created without the necessity for adversarial hearings or other legal maneuvering.
Collaborative divorce as a form of alternative dispute resolution is a much less stressful option than litigation. A public divorce in court can be a long, drawn-out and bitter process, especially when there are significant assets. Shielding children from unnecessary turmoil, reducing conflict and establishing a solid foundation for helping everyone in the family move ahead is why many couples opt for collaborative divorce.