An alternative method of divorce that is meant to decrease conflict in a divorce the parties retain specially qualified attorneys, and both sides come to an agreement on the crucial issues, such as the distribution of property and child custody.
Why It Is Different From Mediation?
However, it should not be mistaken for mediation. Collaborative divorce is different from mediation because in mediation both parties hire a third-party attorney. The major advantage of collaborative divorce is that, as everyone is working together and in the same direction, they can provide nuanced solutions. The specifically skilled attorneys are specially trained in the process, so they have extra experience with these cases. An attorney cannot represent both parties in a collaborative divorce, contrary to mediation, where both parties are represented by the same attorney, but that attorney acts as a third party, which means he is technically not favouring any individual party. Collaborative divorces take about nine to twelve months, and sometimes even more than that. However, the time could be extended if parties take their time to resolve their issues.
Process of Collaborative Divorce
To make collaborative divorce effective, it is essential for both parties to act in a cooperative manner and be open to the idea of compromise. If any party denies or is not willing to compromise, acting as a hindrance in the process of negotiation, the whole process will come out as a futile attempt.
If the collaborative process does not result in a successful settlement, both sides are required to get new representation before they begin litigation; a participation agreement ensures the same. Both parties as well as their respective attorneys are required to sign a participation agreement at the beginning of the process.
In the beginning, both parties meet with their attorneys separately and discuss the issues and what relief they want to seek. For example, if the party wants to waive its liability on the joint debt, it will discuss all the facts with its attorney before meeting with their spouse and his or her attorney. Other professionals, such as those in the fields of finance, child custody, and mental health, attend such meetings. Other than the spouses and their attorneys, all other professionals will act as the third party and should be focused on settling the terms of divorce un-biasedly and fairly.
Advantages of Collaborative Divorce
If collaborative divorce turns out to be a successful divorce settlement, then there is no need to hire new attorneys to file suit in court. It will be a less expensive process than a traditional divorce. The parties would be more comfortable being advised by a skilled negotiator who will be representing them throughout the proceedings. Due to more open communication, the results are fairer for both parties. The major issues of the dispute are resolved by the spouses themselves with the help of experts, so the spouses are more comfortable discussing the issues with openness.
However, sometimes the parties are not able to decipher the solutions to the major issues. Mostly because the parties themselves are not competent enough to resolve every matter logically and fairly. Their understanding is often clouded with agony against each other, which makes it a difficult task for the negotiators as well to find a common ground for them. Further, if it fails, the attorneys will have to resign and will not be able to assist further; all of the hard work will go in vain.
Collaborative Divorce is a settlement between the spouses; here, the spouses decide not to fight in a courtroom amongst the team of advocates and judge, but rather to settle the matter outside of court with the help of experts, which includes specifically trained attorneys, financial experts, mental health experts, etc. Now a day, couples are choosing to settle the matter outside of court because it is a less expensive process as compared to traditional divorce and there is more scope for open communication, which will lead to fair results. Here, the parties themselves resolve the issue with the help of their attorneys. The parties don’t fight with each other; rather, they work together to find solutions. However, if the parties do not compromise and the settlement fails, then the attorneys have to resign before the parties file for litigation. The whole collaborative divorce settlement depends upon the parties willingness to compromise.
Read Our Article: The Importance Of A Divorce Settlement Agreement In A Divorce Case