Sometimes partners realize that their relationship isn’t working and it lacks what’s required for a successful marriage. People may grow in different ways or realize they have opposing life goals. If the couple mutually agrees that a divorce is the right decision and wishes to avoid expensive and stressful meetings in court, a collaborative divorce may be a good choice to resolve matters.
What Is Collaborative Divorce?
In a collaborative divorce, the couple works with lawyers and family professionals to handle the details of the divorce through mediation and negotiation. Issues such as custody and financial responsibilities are decided without settling the matter in court.
The divorce agreement is mutually agreed upon, and both parties get their own lawyer to help guide them through the process. Once all of the legal details of the divorce are decided, the couple goes through an uncontested divorce proceeding. Both parties still have to go into the court to finalize the agreement, but they don’t have to worry about multiple court dates leading up to the end.
Advantages of Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative divorces remove a lot of the stress and uncertainty from the agreement. Since couples and their lawyers meet regularly to cover all the details, they stay on the same page. The partners receive professional guidance on everything they need to include in the divorce, such as property and debt. At times, experts on a particular aspect of the agreement will come in to provide additional insight.
The divorcing couple typically doesn’t have to deal with tense fights in court during an already emotionally trying time. Additionally, less expenses are incurred, as putting together a collaborative divorce decree does not require the same fees as having lawyers defend the couple in court. This arrangement also makes it less likely that the partner with greater financial assets receives a more favorable agreement, which can occur during extended, high-conflict divorce proceedings.
Disadvantages of Collaborative Divorce
Sometimes an amicable situation will turn into a high-conflict divorce, as partners disagree on the division of property, income and other assets. They may have to go to court to agree on the terms of the divorce. At this point, the lawyers working with each party have to withdraw, as collaborative divorces have a no-court agreement in place. The process starts over from scratch, and the couple needs to find new lawyers to represent them.
Occasionally, one-half of a couple fails to disclose necessary information or doesn’t think in terms of self-interest throughout the process. Partners may surrender more than they really want to. The emotions surrounding divorce are difficult to process for many people, and this can spill over into the negotiation and mediation process. Possible pressure and coercion outside the meetings is also something that could impact the final agreement.
A collaborative divorce offers an alternative to the typical divorce process. Couples can reduce the tension and anxiety associated with multiple trips to the courtroom. They can also avoid the high price tag that comes with that process and get the help of skilled professionals to put together a mutually agreeable divorce agreement. While the collaborative option has its disadvantages, it’s worth considering for divorces that occur simply because couples have drifted apart. Individuals can get started on their new lives without carrying a hefty legal bill forward or harboring a lot of resentment and anger.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm focusing exclusively on men’s rights & complex divorces. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. Brad has experience working to help you divorce a narcissist. You can read more on this topic by visiting our divorce blog. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.