Making Divorce A Team Effort

The divorce of yesteryear was often a contentious battle, but you have another choice in how you part ways nowadays. Collaborative divorce takes a team approach to resolving issues, and promises a kinder, gentler divorce process. To learn more about what goes into a collaborative divorce, read on.

It Takes a Team

Attorneys who believe in collaborative divorce expect to use input from several experts to work out issues. Just who makes up the team depends on what issues the couples needs to resolve. Child custody evaluation experts can assist with custody, forensic accountants and financial experts can help with property and debt issues, and relationship experts can help with communications issues that might be holding up the proceedings. It also takes at least two divorce law attorneys who are willing to participate in the less acrimonious process of collaborative divorce, since it is actually a very different practice than that of traditional divorce.

How Collaborative Divorce Works, Step by Step

1. To have the process work, there must be a full, open, and honest disclosure of things like income, taxes, debts, property, deeds, and other financial information. Working with all the facts up front helps the process run more smoothly.

2. Regular meetings are held and divisive issues are addressed one at a time. When an issue is resolved, the process moves on to the next issue. Each issue results in a signed agreement, and the hopes are that, at the end of the meetings, a complete divorce agreement has been created.

3. The order that issues are addressed is important, with the more contentious and emotional issues being left for last. This allows the participants to feel a sense of accomplishment with each passing step.

What Are the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce?

Money: While the team members do have to be paid, that expense often pales in comparison to having to litigate a case through the court system.

Peace of mind: This manner of hashing out differences beats the acrimony of doing so through each other's attorneys and the family court judge. Issues can become blurred, emotions can go unchecked and the general feeling of anxiety are all lessened with collaborative divorce.

Time: In the time it takes to await your first day in court you can have your entire agreement hammered out and ready to file. This can mean a single (or even no) appearance for court.

To learn more about using this method of divorcing, speak to an attorney.