The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Divorce itself can already be an emotionally-draining and demoralizing experience, much more the process to resolve it, specifically, if it ends up getting settled in a family court room. This type of divorce process, called litigated or contested divorce, which is the traditional way of settling divorce and divorce-related issues (which include child custody and visitation rights, child support, spousal support, and division of marital properties, assets and debts), is heard in a courtroom and, therefore, open to the public. Besides the emotional burden it can cause, it can only leave divorcing couples hating one another in the end and probably huge legal fees (court fee, attorney’s fee and expert fee) that need to be settled.

The many inconveniences and negative effects of a litigated divorce process have influenced many other divorcing couples to find alternative ways through which they can settle their divorce and other issues in ways that are faster, much cheaper and more peaceful. Well, good news for them because there are now new methods available in setting divorce and all divorce-related issues faster, peacefully, and without spending as much as one will spend in a court-settled divorce. These methods include Uncontested divorce, Divorce mediation and Collaborative divorce.

Collaborative divorce, particularly, is the newest method of alternative dispute resolution. Under this collaborative divorce process, divorcing couples hire their own lawyers whose job is to assist their respective clients resolve conflicts through the use of cooperative techniques instead of adversarial strategies and litigation (the spouses may also seek the help of a mediator and/or other neutral experts, like an accountant and/or a child custody expert who can assist them in settling all issues at hand). At the outset of the process, the spouses and their lawyers make a commitment to achieving a negotiated outcome. If, however, no settlement is reached, then the “Participation Agreement” entered into by all those involved in the process will require each of the spouses’ lawyers to withdraw from the process. The spouses may then hire new attorneys who will represent them in court (for the adversarial contested divorce process).

According to the law firm Marshall & Taylor PLLC, besides allowing couples seeking a divorce approach their separation as partners willing to work together to reach an amicable agreement, collaborative divorce also allows couples decide on how to handle post-settlement disputes, as well as provides them with other benefits, including:

  • Expediency of the divorce case;
  • More control over the outcome;
  • Less stress and anxiety;
  • Lesser costs compared to the traditional divorce process.

To help make sure that collaboration will succeed, it is important that spouses choose only experienced lawyers who they can trust and whose genuine interest is to help them resolve all issues.