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Why Should You Consider a Collaborative Divorce?

Why Should You Consider a Collaborative Divorce?

Why Should You Consider a Collaborative Divorce?

At the best of times, divorce is difficult. Any time two people decide to end their relationship, there are uncomfortable feelings to process. Often, hurt feelings lead to harsh courtroom battles. This makes the already intense emotional experience even more difficult.

There is, however, another option. If you and your spouse are still able to work together, you can avoid an ugly battle with a collaborative divorce.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

In collaborative divorce, several parties work together to reach a conclusion that benefits both spouses. Each spouse hires their own lawyer, but no one goes to war. The lawyers are there simply to support both sides and help ensure that all necessary legal concerns are met. They also work together, and in this system, one attorney can even recommend another to an unrepresented spouse.

Lawyers who practice collaborative divorce are specially trained. They are taught mediation techniques that help keep everyone communicating productively. There is a degree of psychological understanding in their experience, which is not always the case in legal matters.

Other professionals can be brought into the process of a collaborative divorce. Mental health workers, for example, can meet with you. They can help you deal with difficult emotions, and they can assist in creating a parenting plan the benefits both children and parents. You could also work with financial experts to help determine asset division and spousal support.

In a collaborative divorce, you will meet privately with your attorney and other professionals. You also have a few meetings with the entire team and finalize negotiations. The word “team” is important. Under this plan, everyone is working together.

Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce

The Process is Much Faster

A contested divorce takes quite a bit of time. In some cases, it could take longer than a year. First, you must hire a lawyer and consult with them regularly. You must turn over documents, recount the details of the divorce, and more. Then, you must wait as your attorney builds your case. Remember, you are going to trial. There will be evidence presented. Witnesses may be called and cross-examined. You may be asked to take the stand yourself, where you will be coached through both sides of questioning.

In a collaborative divorce, you can avoid all of this. You will meet with your lawyers and spouse a handful of times, draw up an agreement, submit it to the courts, and you are done.

Your Privacy Remains Intact

Remember that all courtroom trials become a matter of public record. Any evidence or accusation that comes out can be accessed by your friends, family, neighbors, and complete strangers. In an ugly courtroom battle, spouses sometimes wish to ruin one another’s reputations. Even when allegations are completely false, the fact that they were brought up in a courtroom can tarnish someone’s image.

A collaborative divorce bypasses this potential embarrassment. Anything said in your meetings remains confidential. The only things that go through the courts are your final agreement, financial disclosure, and matrimonial actions (which show that the marriage ended). How your reached said agreements remains private for as long as you wish.

You Have Power Over Your Own Divorce

When your divorce goes to court, you are handing your decisions over to someone else. The court has final say on what happens to your property, income, and even interactions with your children. By working alongside your spouse, you will have a say in these decisions. You won’t find yourself crossing your fingers, hoping that the court agrees with your position.

Compliance Is Often Higher

People often leave a courtroom divorce feeling betrayed or mistreated. They weren’t able to agree to the terms because someone else made these decisions for them. You hear language like, “I lost the house,” or “I have to pay alimony.” Hurt feelings can lead to rebellious behavior, and sometimes, spouses are unwilling to follow court decisions out of spite. Breaking such orders leads to more courtroom drama, litigation, and expense.

In a collaborative divorce, you walk away with an agreement. Perhaps you really wanted to keep the house, but through negotiations, you realized that parting with it was best. Maybe you didn’t want to pay spousal support, but now you understand why it was necessary. When people feel included in the process, they are more likely to follow through with their arrangements.

You Could Be More Emotionally Sound Afterward

Contested divorces only add to the difficult emotions surrounding the end of a marriage. You need time to heal, recover, and rebuild, and that process is hindered when you are fighting your spouse in court. By working together, you may find yourself honoring the relationship. You are giving yourselves one last project together, working toward a mutual benefit. In the best-case scenario, you could walk away from the divorce as friends.

Trust our firm to help with a collaborative divorce. We can assist with negotiations and work with you, helping you reach a more amicable conclusion. For a free consultation, call our office at (914) 873-4410, or contact us online.