Collaborative Divorce: How the Process Works

The collaborative divorce pocess means that you are committed to sitting down and negotiating how to dissolve your marriage – without resorting to court or a judge to make decisions. While it is not always an easy process, you and your family will benefit from using this alternative dispute process to resolve your marital  and child issues.

The parties and their Collaborative lawyers agree upon and sign a Collaborative Divorce representation agreement. The agreement provides that if the collaborative process breaks down and either side files for relief from the coucollaborative divorce processrt, the attorneys and other professionals involved must all withdraw from the case.  The spouses and lawyers also decide on the other team members who will be involved in each collaborative divorce. Other professional team members could be therapists, mediators or financial professionals. In this way, the attorneys become stake holders in the collaborative process; if the process breaks down, the attorneys no longer have the case.

Cost of Collaborative Divorce Process

Clients are often concerned that they will spend much more money in the collaborative divorce process because so many professionals are involved in their case. In fact, the neutral professionals on the collaborative team usually saves money because the least expensive, most competent professional is doing what he or she does best. The other cost savings is through the use of neutral professionals, especially where financial issues are involved.

The exchange of information is streamlined from more traditional litigation In Collaborative Divorce, the divorcing spouses exchange financial and other information on a voluntary basis. The parties do not engage in the formal litigation ” process – a time-consuming and costly process, especially for small business owners. All financial information is produced voluntarily and no discovery motions are filed, subpoenas issued or depositions taken. This voluntary exchange in the collaborative process saves time and money.

No Threat of Court with Collaboration

In the collaborative divorce process, the parties then participate in conferences designed to resolve to all the issues that they face. No motions are filed or argued in court because the agreement is reached before a case is filed in court. To assist in the conference process, the parties jointly engage the services of agreed upon neutral collaborative professionals  to help with the resolution of complex issues (i.e. business valuations, tax planning or customized parenting plans). Because the parties jointly decide on a single expert in whom they feel confident to guide them through each issue, there is not a  “battle of the experts