What Is Collaborative Divorce?

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What Is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a family law process in which the spouses “collaborate” or cooperate with one another in order to settle divorce matters. This is a specific application of broader collaborative family law principles. Collaborative law is an approach to dispute resolution that involves non-adversarial techniques for resolving conflicts.

In a divorce setting, collaborative law can help the parties to resolve some of their issues outside of the court setting. For instance, rather than spending time in court discussing issues like spousal support, the parties may instead negotiate those terms through mediation, then present their results to the judge afterward.

What Goes On in a Collaborative Divorce Meeting?

At a collaborative divorce meeting, both parties are present, along with their attorneys. In some cases, a mediator may be present as well, but in most cases, the meetings consist of the spouses and their attorneys. This is basically a joint session in which the parties discuss major issues like:

Thus, the parties are free to discuss these issues and arrive at agreements or settlements according to their own terms. This can be particularly helpful for certain issues such as property division, as the couples are likely to have personalized knowledge of such matters.

Is a Divorce Trial Still Necessary After Collaborative Divorce Efforts?

One of the main purposes of collaborative divorce is to avoid spending long amounts of time in court. In many cases, the parties are able to fully resolve all of their issues and present the judge with their agreements. The judge may finalize all of these into a divorce decree and finalize the divorce.

However, if there are any outstanding issues even after the collaboration efforts, the parties may need to have these resolved in court. This will not take as much time or resources as an actual trial, but it may take some additional time to finalize the divorce.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Collaborative Divorce Issues?

Although much of the collaborative divorce process takes place out of court, each party still needs to obtain their own attorney for the process. You may wish to hire a qualified lawyer in your area if you need help with any type of divorce or family law issue. Your attorney can provide you with guidance and representation during the collaborative divorce process. Your lawyer will be able to help resolve various issues and can instruct you on your options under your state’s laws.

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Last Modified: 05-12-2014 05:31 PM PDT

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