How can I determine if collaborative law divorce is right for me?
On behalf of
Leigh Ballenger Sellers at Krusch & Sellers, P.A.
Divorcing couples have options other than the traditional courtroom model.
Collaborative divorce is a team approach where the parties work together
and negotiate to reach an agreed upon solution.
Facing the prospect of divorce can be daunting for many couples. The time,
expense and adversarial nature of a divorce trial is not appealing to
many separated spouses. Marriages end for a variety of reasons, and for
those who are able to end their union through open communication and negotiation,
collaborative law may be a viable and beneficial option.
Collaborative law has been growing in popularity in recent years as an
alternative to court for many divorcing couples, but it is not the best
choice for everyone. When considering collaborative divorce, it is important
to understand what to expect during the process itself and also the goals
of the divorce, terms that must be negotiated and likelihood of open communication.
This may be done by considering some common questions.
Common questions: collaborative law divorce
Who will be a part of the collaborative divorce process?
Couples seeking to dissolve their marriage through collaborative law will
be involved in a series of meetings consisting of each spouse and his
or her collaborative lawyer.
Depending on the circumstances, additional experts may be present to suggest
solutions and assist the spouses in their negotiations to reach an agreement.
The composition of the collaborative team will depend on the situation
and what type of team is the best fit for the family.
What are the benefits of a collaborative divorce?
Collaborative divorce can be beneficial in many ways, including:
Couples can stay out of the courtroom and reach an agreement on their own terms.
Family finances stay private and are not a part of public record.
Children are kept out of the litigation process and the stress of knowing
some stranger is going to tell them where to live.
Goals are identified and reached through open communication and negotiation
between the spouses.
Experts and coaches are available to help spouses reach an agreement instead
of a decision being handed down by the court.
Collaborative divorce is often more cost effective than a traditional
divorce. It depends on a variety of factors including the complexity of
the situation, number of meetings and team members or advisors involved.
However, the collaborative process is generally less expensive than costly
court proceedings, according to the International Academy of Collaborative
Are there situations where a collaborative divorce may not the best option?
There are situations where Collaborative Divorce might not be advantageous
to parties in certain circumstances, including:
When one spouse is not proceeding in good faith and will not likely cooperate
with the disclosure and negotiation process.
When one spouse has uses intimidation or undue influence over the other
spouse and might still wish to stay out of Court in hopes of continuing
to pressure for a “win” instead of reaching a mutual agreement.
When one spouse is prone to physical or emotional violence or suffers
from any mental disabilities putting him or her at a disadvantage.
What if the collaborative process doesn’t work?
If parties cannot reach an agreement, the spouses WILL be faced with hiring
new attorneys and pursuing a traditional divorce in court, which places
additional financial and emotional costs on the couple. This part of a
Collaborative Agreement is necessary to ensure that both parties are “all
in” for the Collaborative Process. Knowing that you must keep working
and trying, prevents parties from throwing up their hands and just deciding
to let a Judge decide. However, in some situations, the attorneys will
add a paragraph allowing for binding arbitration or
mediation if there is a impasse as to any issue or issues.
If you and your spouse have considered collaborative law and have determined
that it is the might be a good fit for your family, it is important to
discuss the process in more detail with a trained Collaborative Law Attorney
. Contact an attorney at Krusch & Sellers, P.A. to help answer your
questions, support you through the process and help you conclude this
chapter of your life with dignity and respect. Call Krusch & Sellers,
P.A. today at 704-556-0707 to discuss collaborative law as an alternative
to a traditional divorce.