Collaborative divorce is designed to make divorce less contentious and costly. But, it can only work for spouses who can put their differences aside and cooperate. With this type of divorce, the process becomes shorter, less emotionally distressing, and less difficult. Thus, if you want the divorce proceeding to go smoothly and quickly, without much court intervention, you should consider a collaborative divorce. But, this divorce has its set of requirements and procedures and involves trained experts. If you are considering a collaborative divorce, get in touch with an attorney at Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office to understand the process and your legal options.
How Collaborative Divorce Works
When the divorce process starts, you and your spouse will have a conversation to make sure both parties are willing to negotiate and cooperate in the process. Then, you need to hire your respective lawyer with experience in this type of divorce and who wants to utilize alternative dispute resolution such as mediation.
Once you hire an attorney, you must discuss with them your goals and desires. You should talk about how your assets and debts will be divided as well as how child custody, support, and visitation should be handled.
During the initial meeting with the other party, you will usually sign a “no court” agreement that lets your lawyers withdraw from your case should one of you exit the collaborative divorce process to start court litigation. In addition, this agreement holds every party accountable. During subsequent meetings, both spouses must voluntarily provide information to each other to continue negotiations, including tax returns, salary information, asset and debt details, as well as employment information.
Picking Your Divorce Team
If you choose a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will work with a team of experts. Your team includes divorce attorneys who can guide you through the process and smooth out any differences. You and your spouse must have your respective legal counsel. Apart from lawyers, your team can include financial experts, child welfare professionals, and mental health professionals who will work together to try to finalize your divorce as quickly as possible. If you have children, you may need to bring a child specialist into the team.
Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
A collaborative divorce can be right for you depending on how each of you thinks of the process, whether or not you both are willing to negotiate, and your ability to work together. If there is a history of domestic abuse or violence in your family, it might be best to file a contested divorce.