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One option that might work for some couples that are planning on splitting up, according to the divorce lawyers at Stange Law Firm, is a collaborative divorce.
As the name suggests, this avenue involves a measure of cooperation between you and your spouse, so it might not be right for all couples in all circumstances. Read on, though, and see if collaborative divorce may work for your individual situation.
What Is a Collaborative Divorce?
First things first, you’ll need to understand what a collaborative divorce is before you can start making judgments on whether or not it might work for you.
Generally speaking, the collaborative divorce process reframes the idea of divorce from one part “winning” and another “losing” and instead focuses on reaching an agreement in which both parties work things out amicably.
Unlike mediation, though, in which a settlement must be reached without the help of a lawyer, collaborative divorce keeps lawyers involved in the process while also giving the couple the latitude to bring things to a close while maintaining a good relationship.
Why Collaborative Divorce May Be a Good Idea
Done correctly, a collaborative divorce can offer significant benefits, including:
- Collaborative divorces are usually confidential, so if your divorce is something you would like to keep as private as possible, this might be a good option.
- You, your spouse, and your attorneys are all supposed to be on the same team, and working together helps foster commitment to a positive outcome.
- You’ll be working with other experts to reach a satisfactory conclusion for both parties, and sharing costs so that everything feels fair.
- There won’t be as much time spent at the courthouse for either party, which can be a huge relief for some couples.
There are some potential drawbacks, though, which we’ll look at next.
Why Collaborative Divorce May not Be for You
Before you give collaborative a shot, you should know that it all hinges on having a good deal of trust between you and your soon-to-be ex partner.
If you aren’t forthright with one another, it all brakes apart and then you’ll be heading to the court process for sure — perhaps with even more animosity between the two of you.
Then there’s the fact that some cases, like those where domestic violence is a factor, may cause a judge to reject a move for a collaborative divorce outright. You’ll have to make sure that this option is on the table and will work for your personalities before you begin.
The Bottom Line
Collaborative divorce may not be for all, but it can be a boon for many couples seeking a divorce that isn’t bogged down with misery.
Be sure that you and your spouse are ready to work together if you want to go down this path, and remember that you’ll need to keep cooperating to make it work.