There is no law that says divorce must be acrimonious. Instead, many couples have found that taking a collaborative approach has worked best, ensuring that they remain on speaking terms after the divorce so that they can successfully co-parent.
At the Colwell Law Group, we practice collaborative divorce, which might be an ideal option for you. To learn more, please contact us today.
Collaborative Divorce Explained
Collaborative divorce is an approach that emphasizes finding common ground rather than relying on adversarial litigation strategies. Many couples will try mediation at least once in their divorce, where they meet with a neutral third party to discuss their dispute. But collaborative divorce emphasizes working together throughout the entire process. Collaborative divorce is not a one-time event like mediation often is.
Features of collaborative divorce include:
- A commitment to doing what is right for the couple’s children.
- Communicating fairly and without trying to take advantage of any mistakes the other side makes.
- A commitment by lawyers to managing any disagreements in a fair and creative manner.
- A prohibition on any party making unilateral decisions regarding the marital property while the collaborative divorce negotiation is taking place.
- The use of neutral experts, such as accountants, if they are needed.
If all goes well, a couple can come up with an agreement on all key issues, including child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of marital property and debts. Each spouse will sign the agreement and submit it to the judge for approval.
Couples who engage in collaborative divorce often report high satisfaction with the process. There are many reasons to choose collaborative divorce:
- It is often faster than a contested divorce. You can save time and money.
- It is less stressful. In a contested divorce, you have no idea what a judge will decide. With a collaborative divorce, you have more of a say in the outcome.
- Your concerns will be heard, and your spouse agrees to listen to them in good faith.
- Because everyone agrees to do what is best for the children, there are no opportunities to take a “cheap shot” at your spouse’s parenting skills.
Couples are often better able to co-parent after a collaborative divorce because they are the ones who agreed to the terms. This provides extra incentive to follow through.
Not for Everyone
Although most people can benefit from collaborative divorce, there are some situations where it might not be ideal. For example, your spouse might be abusive and terrorizing. In that situation, it will be very difficult to sit down and reach an agreement on the details of a divorce since you are terrified of them. Instead, you probably need a protective order against your spouse.
Contact an Experienced Dutchess County Collaborative Divorce Attorney
If you are interested in collaborative divorce, please reach out to us today. The Colwell Law Group has helped innumerable couples obtain a satisfying divorce, and we are eager to discuss the process with you.
For more information, feel free to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers.