What is a collaborative divorce?
In a regular divorce case, the couple is on opposite sides. There may be a lot of fighting, disagreement and unwillingness to settle things. This type of divorce case often ends up in court.
Some divorcing couples may be able to settle things easily. These couples can agree on issues like child custody, child support, and division of property. There is no need for the court to settle their issues. In a situation like this, a couple should consider a collaborative divorce.
Collaborative divorce is a process that uses mediation and negotiation to settle the issues.
It takes two willing participants to be successful. If you or your spouse is disagreeable or looking for a fight, a collaborative divorce is not likely to work.
There are benefits to a collaborative divorce, such as:
· Negotiations take place in an informal setting, not a courtroom;
· Exchange of information is free, open and honest;
· Both time and money are saved because there is no long, drawn-out court battle; and
· You can negotiate results that work for you and your particular circumstances.
In a collaborative divorce, each party hires their own attorney. When choosing a lawyer, look for one who has expertise in mediation and understands the collaborative approach. Once you have hired your attorney, you will meet and go over what you want and are willing to accept. Then, you and your attorney will meet with your spouse and his or her attorney. These four-way meetings will happen several times as you work out the issues. If needed, other professionals such as accountants or custody evaluators are brought in to help with the negotiations.
Once all the issues are resolved, the attorneys will draw up the final paperwork and file it with the court. Because you have gone through the collaborative process, filing the final decree will be a simple, uncontested procedure.
Collaborative divorce can save you time and money.
It can save you and you children stress and emotional trauma. Best of all, it achieves a result that is best for the family.
Heather Tessmer is experienced in mediation and collaborative divorce. If you think collaborative divorce is the solution for you, call us at 210-368-9708 to schedule a consultation.