If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may dread the thought of a bitter court battle. However, litigation is not always necessary. There are other options to think about, one of which is a collaborative divorce. Would this be the best approach for you?
How it works
You and your spouse would each hire your own attorney. Trained in collaborative divorce, your attorney would meet with the two of you and guide you in working out a settlement agreement. Experts such as child custody specialists and accountants can be brought in to assist as needed.
How you can benefit
One of the most commonly mentioned benefits of collaborative divorce is that this process is much easier on children than litigation, which can be lengthy, stressful and often rancorous. There are other good points to consider about collaboration:
- You exchange necessary information voluntarily
- Coming to a temporary agreement can stabilize difficult situations
- By agreeing on legal procedures, you can keep divorce costs down
- Successful collaboration will go more quickly than the litigation process
- A settlement can be negotiated that works for both you and your soon-to-be-ex
- You can develop a process for post-divorce decisions
In considering collaboration, remember that you were partners in your marriage. Therefore, you should be able to work out a settlement as partners. You would take an active part in determining how this stage of your life should end and how the next phase should begin.
How to proceed
In most cases, the collaboration process works well. You and your spouse will put together a satisfactory divorce agreement with the support of professionals. It is a way to end a marriage and prepare for the future in a civilized, rational manner. However, if you cannot come to an agreement on one or more critical points, there is always the option of retracing your steps, going the traditional route and letting the court make decisions through the litigation process.