It’s no secret that some divorces are expensive, time-consuming and contentious. While divorces are rarely pain-free, there is an option that makes the process relatively smooth.
Many couples are opting for a collaborative divorce, but is it the right choice for you?
The benefits of a collaborative divorce
In a traditional divorce, a divorcing couple each has their attorney representing their best interest. It takes place in court, where the judge makes the final decisions. The proceedings become part of the public record.
In contrast, in a collaborative divorce, both parties commit to working together to reach an agreement. In addition to each spouse’s attorney, the process may involve other professionals, such as financial advisors, therapists or social workers to address specific issues.
A collaborative divorce has several advantages over a traditional divorce, including:
- It is less costly and quicker
- Both parties maintain control over the process and decisions
- There is more privacy
- It promotes open communication and cooperation, which can reduce stress levels
- It is better for the children since it reduces conflict between the parents and leads to a better co-parenting relationship
While a collaborative divorce has multiple benefits, there are some situations where it might not be the best choice, such as:
- If there is a history of domestic violence
- One party believes the other is lying, hiding assets or being deceitful
- There are high levels of emotion
- The case is complex, with significant assets or business interests
The effectiveness of a collaborative divorce depends on the willingness of both parties to work together to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. If they can’t reach a settlement and decide to go to court, the attorneys involved in the collaborative process must withdraw from the case.
Anyone considering a divorce should discuss their situation with someone who can help them review all their options. That is one of the best ways to determine if the collaborative process is the right choice.