What is collaborative divorce?

Divorce is a difficult time. Managing a litany of court dates and lawyers is expensive and very stressful. However, divorce does not have to be this way. There are multiple ways that you can approach your divorce, and many approaches are more like a settlement as compared to a trial. 

Provided that you and your ex-spouse can still converse reasonably and compromise, collaborative divorce may be a cheaper and less stressful option for you. According to Findlaw, collaborative divorce relies on mediation and negotiation rather than aggressive tactics to complete a divorce.  

What are the benefits of collaboration?

The biggest benefit is that if you can bypass the courtroom, you will save a lot of time and money. If you take your divorce to court, you will often spend weeks or months simply waiting for the courts to have time to hear your case. 

Collaborative divorce often involves a lot of informal and honest discussion. It will allow you to negotiate with your spouse so that both of you can have a result that works for you. It allows you to retain the decision-making power rather than handing it all over to an impartial judge who does not know your interpersonal situation.  

What does it look like?

In a collaborative divorce, both you and your ex-spouse will retain your own attorney. You will then have a 4-way meeting between yourself, your lawyer, your ex-spouse and your ex-spouse’s lawyer. During these meetings you will negotiate on different aspects of divorce, ranging from alimony to child custody. Once you are in agreement, you will sign off on the divorce papers and the process is through.