Are you considering a collaborative divorce vs. a traditional divorce? You are not alone. While it is a process of election, and you cannot force your spouse into the process (that wouldn’t be very collaborative, would it?) there are some good reasons to use the collaborative divorce process if your spouse is willing, and your family is a good fit for the process. The following 8 advantages are our non-exclusive list of the benefits of collaborative divorce.
- The process is generally less costly than litigation. A cooperative resolution is usually less expensive than a contested one.
- The process is generally less time-consuming. The collaborative case can frequently be completed within 4-6 meetings vs. up to a year for a contested case.
- An atmosphere of cooperation reduces the stress that accompanies traditional divorce. A common set of rules govern how spouses, lawyers, and participants interact, minimizing the abrasive conduct present in many traditional cases.
- Each party has the assistance of counsel. Collaborative Divorce comes with the benefit of expert attorney assistance without the hostile atmosphere of litigation.
- Each party is a vital part of the settlement team. Both sides are treated as critical parts of the settlement team, and not adversaries.
- The team can focus on settlement without the imminent threat of “going to court.” The parties sign a participation agreement that says these parties and these lawyers will not take this matter to litigation. This eliminates tactical bargaining backed by threats of litigation.
- The client controls the proceedings. Rather than have a Judge in a robe decide a family’s parenting and financial future, the parties themselves work out an agreement. The decision making power stays with the participants.
- The collaborative process focuses on interest-based bargaining. In a collaborative case, parties focus on the underlying concerns, needs, and interests of the parties. Traditional cases usually involve position based bargaining, where each side commits to a position early in litigation and only thinks of their own wants and needs.
The lawyers at Stephens & Margolin LLP have training in collaborative divorce law, and can help through you through the collaborative process, and help you decide if the collaborative process is right for you.