A collaborative divorce is a chance for a couple to split amicably, with only a little bit of professional intervention. Instead of working out their issues in a courtroom, the couple settles their disputes with some negotiation and mediation.
This approach to divorce can be right for couples who are generally on good terms, and want to settle their divorce as peacefully and fairly as possible. If both parties are on board, there are a lot of upsides to taking this approach to divorce.
(Note that a collaborative divorce is different than mediation. Mediation does not necessarily involve lawyers, but uses a divorce mediator instead to help both parties come to an agreement. A collaborative divorce, on the other hand, does involve lawyers and other professionals, like a certified financial planner.)
One of the biggest benefits of a collaborative divorce is the potential to save massive amounts of money along the way. We’ll get into what those are, but first, it’s important to understand exactly what goes into a collaborative divorce:
Collaborative Divorce – What to Expect
Opting for a collaborative divorce means working out the details of your separation in a more informal setting. Every situation is going to be very different, but here is a basic look at what to expect:
- Each spouse hires their own attorney. Make sure you choose someone who is on board with collaborative divorce and mediation.
- Meet with your own attorney and get on the same page about your terms. Be aware of non-negotiables as well as areas you’d be willing to compromise on.
- You and your attorney will meet with your spouse and your spouse’s attorney, along with other professionals like financial planners, accountants and child custody specialists.
- Both spouses and attorneys sign an agreement to settle disputes outside of court.
No Court Fees
One of the most expensive parts for couples going through a divorce is the cost of going to court. Going to cost takes a lot of time, so there is missed work and childcare to factor in, too. A collaborative divorce removes those expenses from the equation, because everything is settled through mediation and negotiation.
Lawyer Fees Associated with Court
You will still need to hire an attorney, but that cost increases when you include going to court. Collaborative divorces tend to be a lot quicker than divorces that go to court, so the time you’ll be paying your attorney for will be more limited, too.
Less Unexpected Costs and Fees
A collaborative divorce is a lot easier to plan for than a traditional divorce. Traditional divorces incur court fees and other expenses that you might not be able to foresee ahead of time. A collaborative divorce, if both parties participate amicably, can be better scheduled out so you know what to expect in terms of cost along the way.
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