On behalf of Bebout, Potere, Cox & Bennion, P.C. posted in blog on Friday, August 18, 2017.
If you and your spouse have come to the end of the line in your marriage, you are probably considering divorce options. If a costly, acrimonious court battle does not appeal to either of you, there is a more civilized possibility: collaborative divorce.
There are a few requirements, one of which is that the two of you will be able to respect each other and conduct yourselves like adults. If you believe you can do that, and are in agreement with the other requirements, collaborative divorce may be the right solution for you to end your marriage.
Not the same as mediation
Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation in certain respects. It takes place outside of the courtroom, is a confidential process, involves open communication and encourages participants to work together.
However, unlike mediation, a third, impartial party does not serve as guide or mediator. Instead, in addition to your attorneys, there may be experts involved whose job will be to settle issues, if necessary. You and your spouse may wish to have a real estate agent present, for example, or a parenting consultant.
Preparing to fulfill the requirements
Collaborative divorce requires:
Disclosing documents: Everything should be out in the open, meaning no secrets and no hidden assets.
Sharing experts: You and your spouse can bring in any experts you choose to settle sticky issues, and you will share the expense.
Keeping children out of it: You can go through the collaborative process without involving your children.
No hard feelings or grudges: The goal is for everyone to benefit from collaboration.
The commonsense approach
Attorneys who work with this kind of non-adversarial divorce on a regular basis will tell you that one important outcome of collaboration is that couples walk away knowing they got a fair deal. Equally important, even as they go their separate ways, they will still be able to maintain important family relationships both now and far into the future.