The primary goal of collaborative divorce is to help the couple reach a mutually-beneficial settlement on various aspects of the divorce such as child custody, spousal support and property division – without having to resort to litigation.
How does collaborative divorce workIn the collaborative divorce process, both parties hire their own legal representation for a series of four-way meetings where each side tries to work through the necessary negotiations.
Before the process starts, both parties and their representatives also have to sign an agreement that requires the representatives to withdraw if negotiations fail and the case eventually does move to litigation. This would force both halves of the couple to seek new representation for court, which can be a powerful incentive to compromise.
Guidelines for collaborative divorceFor a collaborative divorce to work, it is important that you follow this set of guidelines:
- Both parties must commit to the process and be willing to work together
- Both parties must be open and honest when disclosing marital property
- Both parties should be willing to involve other professionals (like financial experts) when needed so that they can fully explore the consequences of each
Divorce can be challenging, but alternative dispute resolution processes like collaboration can make the situation far easier to manage. However, there are steps you can take to make the process easier and cost-effective. Learning your rights and obligations during the collaborative divorce process can help you safeguard your interests and reach an amicable divorce agreement.