Frequently Asked Questions About Collaborative Divorce
How Can a Divorce be Collaborative?
Although divorces are traditionally seen as battles waged in court, an increasing number of divorcing couples recognize, particularly when they have children, that there is much to be gained by working out their problems in a peaceful manner. That way, when the case is over, they will be able to work together more effectively for the benefit of their children. Collaborative Divorce is a problem-solving approach to the divorce process, aimed at helping a couple make a more productive transition to their post-divorce life.
How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?
In a Collaborative Divorce, the husband and his attorney meet together with the wife and her attorney in a series of four-way meetings. All of the financial information required for the negotiation is gathered voluntarily and cooperatively. Rather than engaging in a battle of the experts, the couple jointly selects and jointly pays any real estate or business appraisers that may be required to determine the values of the parties’ assets. The couple can also jointly engage a child specialist to assist in putting together a parenting plan for their children.
Preserving Your Mental Health
The Collaborative Process also can include mental health specialists whose job is to help the couple deal with the emotional and psychological issues that divorcing people so frequently face. These “coaches” can often help create an atmosphere that allows for a productive negotiation permitting the husband and wife to acknowledge the emotional conflict but not let it stand in the way of a successful resolution of their case.
Will the Case Still Go to Trial?
One of the most important aspects of a Collaborative Divorce is that it will not go to trial. All of the participants in the process sign a participation agreement in which they pledge that if the Collaborative Process is unsuccessful, the lawyers will not take the case to court and the couple will need to obtain new attorneys for any further proceedings. This agreement guarantees that all of the participants in the process, including the lawyers, maintain their focus solely on obtaining a fair and peaceful settlement of the case.
What are the Advantages of a Collaborative Divorce?
- It’s a non-adversarial, problem-solving approach to a family’s problems;
- It allows the couple to control the pacing and, to a great extent, the cost of the divorce;
- It keeps all of a family’s financial information and relationship difficulties private and away from the public scrutiny that can accompany a traditional divorce trial;
- It puts the husband and wife in control of the outcome of their case, rather than having a judge decide the fate of the family;
- It paves the way to a more cooperative relationship post-divorce for the benefit of the children.
What Attorneys Are Qualified to Participate in a Collaborative Divorce?
Attorneys, mental health specialists, and financial specialists who participate in the Collaborative Process must undergo many hours of special training. Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C. offers Collaborative Divorce because of its ability to offer highly trained professional assistance in this growing area of family law.
By: Alan E. Freed