The divorce rate is on the rise once again. Spouses find themselves in legal battles which are simply not worth the time, money and emotions. Getting a divorce is tough, especially if you have never had one in the past. It is due to this reason that collaborative divorce has become common throughout the world. It allows the spouses to work out an agreement. It is very useful as it has the capability of reducing stress.

Both of the partners have to consider which option suits their needs the best. Many couples find themselves being stuck in legal woes. There is a high conflict situation between the attorneys representing different sides and trying to achieve everything that they can get without any compromise or mutual understanding.

Having knowledge about collaborative divorce can be extremely useful for both of the parties involved. Knowing what to expect will help them make the right decisions regarding the divorce. If the parties had opted for litigation, then the divorce would only be dragged for a longer time. It is encouraged for spouses considering divorcing to opt for a collaborative divorce. It has proven to be successful among divorced couples. They are guided throughout the process by a mediator and attorney. It helps save up time and cost. Partners who have an understanding with each other and want to quickly get done with a divorce will find a collaborative divorce to be a lifesaver.

 

What Do You Need to Know About Collaborative Divorce?

A collaborative divorce is one where couples that have different points of views on issues related to spousal support, child custody, or property division hire a mediator or attorney to help resolve disputes. Collaborative divorce offers many benefits to everyone concerned and should not only be used by those that agree completely on the issues. Both of the parties come together to discuss all issues that are concerning them. It helps ensure that none of the parties have needs that remain unanswered. If the parties had opted to go for litigation, it would only lead to wastage of resources in terms of money and time, as well as emotions. It can be tough having to deal with a divorce.

 

The Procedure

A mutually beneficial resolution can be reached through the procedure. The parties can either opt for mediation or arbitration depending on what suits their needs the best. But, many individuals might still be confused regarding the process. These are described here so that you can have a better idea about the process. It is vital to keep in mind that both mediation and arbitration are not the same as commonly mistaken by people. In mediation, both the parties are free to either accept or reject the resolution suggested by the mediator. But, as for arbitration, the parties have to accept the decision of the arbitrator. It is important to remember these differences before one chooses either of the two. However, if the parties consider seeking a decision from the court, then they will need to find a more adversarial attorney.

A collaborative divorce attorney should be hired if you and your spouse choose a collaborative divorce as the goals of the attorney would be different from an attorney who focuses on litigation. The collaborative divorce attorneys of both sides would work together with the parties to get the parties to come to a solution. They are different from litigation attorneys as they do not work in the interests of just one party but towards achieving a mutually beneficial resolution. It is important to keep this difference in mind.

But in many cases that go through litigation, it can make the entire process a lot harder. Not only will each spouse have an attorney, but they would also have individual advisers, therapists, financial experts, child behavior specialists, and others that might be needed. With such a wide range of expert choices, spouses are better equipped to make smart decisions on topics that they might bot be familiar with.

The uncontested procedure will not require any litigious hearings or a trial regarding pre-trial maneuvers and points of evidence such as disclosure and interrogatories. This means that the procedure would be completed much faster. There will be no need to attend court hearings. The attorneys will handle all of the legal paperwork to ensure that the divorce procedure is completed smoothly without any hurdles. This is why it is important to hire an experienced collaborative divorce attorney who has worked on divorces to reach a solution for their client. There are certain things that should be considered when hiring a collaborative divorce attorney. These are mentioned below.

  • Is the attorney licensed?
  • Does the attorney have a certification along with a qualification that shows that the attorney is capable of handling the complexities found in a collaborative divorce?
  • Ask around for reviews of the attorney as it will help provide you with an idea of the service offered.
  • Previous cases handled by the attorney.

 

Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

There is no denying that a divorce can easily get dirty and become too personal. As collaborative divorce grows in popularity, certain misconceptions still persist. Some of these include the belief that collaborative divorce involves litigation. There are many advantages of opting for a collaborative divorce. Some of these are explained below.

Takes Less Time

When a divorce goes undergoes litigation, it takes a lot of time for a decision. It can be difficult for working partners to attend all of the hearings and to make an appearance before a jury or the judge. All of the legal formalities are taken care of by the legal counsel. Hence, there is less pressure over the handling of legal issues.

Greater Control

Unlike litigation where complete control is provided to the jury or the judge to reach a verdict, the parties have greater control over their lives in a collaborative divorce. They get to work together to reach a decision that suits their needs best. It can be difficult for the jury or the judge to understand the complexities of the case, especially as the time dedicated to hearings is short. However, the mediation sessions are long and are held whenever both of the parties are able to attend. This provides greater control to the parties. Since the partners work together, they are better able to understand the situation of each other.

Promotes Empathy towards Each Other

As none of the party feels like they have to win the case, they are able to let their guards down. Hence, empathy is promoted. At the end of the day, it is important to consider the fact that both of the parties were once spouses, and they have spent time together. A collaborative divorce allows for a more sensible decision to be reached, one that benefits both parties. Both parties get to understand that the divorce is stressful for each other and try their best to make compromises to reach a decision fast without causing any more delays.

Flexibility

Working spouses will find it hard to attend the hearings and trial. But, in a collaborative divorce, they get to arrange mediation sessions along with their daily routines. This means that they can attend the sessions after or before work. Flexibility is one of the benefits of a collaborative divorce. It is why more and more millennials who are seeking a divorce consider a collaborative divorce to be their best option.

Confidentiality

A great advantage of a collaborative divorce is that it ensures that personal information about the parties is kept confidential unlike with a hearing where the jury or the judge will hear about all the sensitive information. Moreover, the information would also be made public which can be a serious issue for many. In a collaborative divorce, the mediator or the collaborative divorce attorneys keep the information confidential and are not allowed to share any of the information as it is prohibited as per the law.

Children Are Protected

Litigation leads to children being dragged to court against their will. It can be extremely painful for kids to watch their parents battle it out against each other. Such an experience could plague the childhood of kids and even wreak havoc on their self-esteem. This is why a collaborative divorce is the best solution. It helps ensure that children do not get involved in the divorce process. Their rights are protected and they do not get to face the complexities of a divorce. Both of the parents work out visitation timings and how the children are to be raised at the sessions together. They do not have to fight each other but get to work together to ensure that the best is provided for their children.

 

Things to Consider

Honesty

When the ex-spouses attend the sessions, they have to be honest with each other regarding income, assets and any other information that is important to the case. A resolution can be reached through honesty. If any critical information is kept hidden, then the other party might be able to take legal action in the future against the party. This is why complete honesty is expected from both of the parties. There is a need for each party to be honest about items like assets and income.

Compromise

If you are not able to make a compromise with your spouse, then a collaborative divorce might not be the best solution for you. You and your ex-spouse need to be prepared to make compromises to ensure that the best is achieved. It is a requirement for a successful resolution. When you both are able to make compromises, then decisions can be made faster.

Team Work

The first thing that spouses need to keep in mind when they start with the collaborative divorce is that team work is compulsory if a resolution is to be achieved. If you feel that you and your spouse are not on speaking terms, then it might not be the best choice. Both of the parties have to challenge each other to work together despite there being unresolved issues. Through team work a decision will be reached between the parties.

Treat Each Other As Equals

The main contributing factor for its success is if both parties are able to treat one another as equals while also defending their own rights. The partners need to be prepared to treat each other as equals if the divorce is to be successful. If you are still having trouble managing your emotions, then you will need to give yourself some time. Litigation focuses on treating the other as an unequal. However, according to the law, everyone is treated as an equal. But, the attorneys will battle it out to ensure that the other is shown as being wrong.

Importance of Attorney

The success of a collaborative divorce depends completely on the attorney. This is why you need to hire an attorney such as Lawrence N. Rothbart as he has the experience to handle all types of divorces. No matter how complex you might believe your divorce to be, the attorney will help ensure that your needs are met. When opting for a collaborative divorce, make sure to have an expert attorney by your side as it makes the entire difference. An experienced collaborative divorce attorney will have the negotiation and communication skills needed to convince the other side of your needs to ensure that they are fulfilled. Do not make the mistake of only looking at cost when hiring an attorney because if you hire the wrong attorney, then it will cost you a lot more in the long-run.