Making the decision to file for divorce does not have to lead to a future involving long, stressful hours spent in court. In fact, many couples do not even set foot in a courtroom to create their divorce agreement. Resolving your divorce through a trial is a process known as divorce litigation, and it is typically reserved for those with an especially contentious relationship who are unable to come to an agreement on their own. If you foresee that you and your spouse will argue over every little detail, divorce litigation may be your only option. If, however, you and your spouse are ending things amicably, a collaborative divorce may help you reach a resolution more quickly and on a more positive note.
What is a Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a process in which you and your spouse negotiate the terms of your divorce, rather than having a judge make these decisions for you. This includes determinations regarding spousal support or maintenance, the division of assets, child custody, child support, and more. In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse can each hire your own specially certified divorce attorney to act as your legal representative and help guide you through the divorce process. You will likely meet one-on-one with your attorney for advice on how you should proceed, as well as in conferences with your spouse and his or her attorney to negotiate the details of your divorce agreement. You may also seek advice from other professionals, such as financial advisors, child custody specialists, and more. Once you and your spouse have come to an agreement on each matter, you will have contact with a family court judge who will sign your prepared agreement, making it legally enforceable moving forward.
What are the Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce?
It is no secret that a divorce can get expensive the longer the process goes on. If you and your spouse are willing and able to come to an agreement on the different aspects of your divorce, you can save a significant amount of time and money. Litigation costs additional money due to the court fees, and it may take extra time depending on how quickly the judge comes to a decision. Collaborative divorce allows you and your spouse to voluntarily exchange the necessary information, agree on legal procedures that can often cut down on expenses, and make the process much simpler. Another important benefit of collaborative divorce procedures is the ability to make your parenting plan as a couple. You and your spouse usually know your children best, and if you can work together, you can likely create a much more effective parenting plan than a judge can. This can also strengthen your co-parenting relationship moving forward....