As your marriage comes to an end, you fear that the divorce process could degrade into a contentious court battle. After discussing the issue with your future former spouse, you both agree you do not want to go your separate ways in this manner.
Instead, you want to use an alternative dispute resolution method. You heard about collaborative divorce, and it sounds like something that you could benefit from, but you want more information before making a decision. This article gives you the basic information you may need to help you make an informed choice.
This approach to divorce has been around since the 1990s. It provides a cooperative and structured environment in which to resolve your divorce issues without the need to go to court and let a judge make decisions about your post-divorce life for you. The first thing you should know is that you and your spouse enter into an agreement to conduct negotiations with fairness and good faith. You also agree to full disclosure.
Your respective attorneys must also agree to commit to this process. If negotiations break down, you must start from scratch with new attorneys. This gives everyone the motivation needed to fully engage in the process. You meet in a neutral place to participate in open and honest discussions regarding putting together a divorce settlement with which you both can adhere to and move into the future.
To facilitate your negotiations, you may bring in other third parties to provide assistance on specific matters. For instance, you may need a financial advisor to discuss the best ways to divide certain assets and inform you of the financial and tax ramifications of your choices. If you have children, you can bring in a counselor to help devise a custody arrangement that serves the best interests of your children.
More reasons to consider collaborative divorce
In addition to the above, you may also want to engage in this process to save money. When compared to a traditional courtroom divorce, collaborative divorce often gives you a cost savings. Remaining amicable and avoiding the adversarial courtroom process also relieves stress for everyone involved. This could particularly help your children since you and the other parent do not spend your time arguing and attempting to "outdo" each other in court.
After you digest the above information, you may find that you have questions specific to your situation. You may get those questions answered by consulting with an attorney experienced in this alternative method to traditional divorce.