A Constructive Approach to Separation – Understanding Collaborative Divorce

The traditional adversarial litigation court divorce model often fosters an environment that escalates the conflict between spouses. It can have lasting consequences even after the divorce is completed.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce allows spouses to resolve issues using a professional team, including financial and legal experts. The team can also include child specialists and coaches who act as neutral parties to avoid bias.

It is a non-adversarial process

Collaborative divorce Red Bank, NJ does not necessitate any court appearances, unlike typical litigation. It can drastically cut down on the process’s duration and expense.

Generally, the couple chooses their lawyers, who are collaboratively trained and commit to resolving the case without court involvement. The team also typically includes a neutral financial professional and mental health coach. The professionals work together to assist in goal-setting, information gathering, and options development. Full team meetings occur regularly to expedite the resolution of the divorce and related issues such as child custody (parental responsibility), visitation (parenting time), property division, and spousal support.

While it may not be possible for a divorcing couple to completely agree on every issue, collaborative divorce helps couples come to mutually beneficial settlements that protect their interests. The interdisciplinary team can help them resolve their disagreements and learn to cooperate, essential for future co-parenting. This is a significant benefit for many couples who want to minimize damage to their children.

It is confidential

Unlike divorce trials, which can publicize embarrassing details, collaborative divorces are confidential. It can protect your reputation and prevent embarrassment from negatively impacting your work or social life.

In addition, confidentiality is necessary to maintain the cooperative spirit required by collaborative law. It will help you and your partner overcome any roadblocks that may arise to a speedy resolution.

In a collaborative divorce, spouses and their attorneys meet with one another in what is called a “four-way” meeting. The meetings are scheduled regularly. The team may include other professionals, such as child custody specialists and financial experts. All members of the collaborative team must be neutral to avoid bias. This process is similar to mediation but includes more intense negotiations to settle the case without going to court. The process saves money on attorney fees, eliminating the need for extensive discovery and lengthy court proceedings.

It is less expensive than litigation

A collaborative divorce may be less expensive than standard litigation if both parties are open to discussing it. It can save both parties on court costs, which typically depend on the number of times a case must go to court, and attorney fees if an attorney charges by the hour.

Collaborative divorces take place face-to-face through a series of pre-scheduled meetings. It allows a divorce to be resolved in fewer months than a litigated divorce.

The collaborative process also promotes transparency and honesty. As a result, there is typically an efficient process of discovery where necessary information is exchanged between the parties. This can prevent a spouse from hiding financial assets. If a hidden asset is discovered later, a couple can use their settlement agreement to reopen the case in court and alter their financial arrangements. It could be costly to both parties in the long run.

It is less stressful

Since the collaborative process encourages communication and empathy, it is often less stressful than a litigated divorce. Couples can discuss sensitive issues face-to-face in a non-threatening environment and work with professionals to find resolutions that fit their needs.

The team typically includes the spouses’ attorneys, a neutral coach, and, depending on the situation, financial experts and appraisers. Meetings are held regularly until a desired settlement is reached.

Litigated divorces often depend on conflict and finger-pointing to move forward, but a collaborative approach can save time and money. It can also reduce the stress of a divorce and foster a more positive transition for the whole family, especially children. Additionally, a collaborative divorce can keep personal information private, benefiting couples who want to maintain a civil relationship with their former spouses. It can also help prevent post-divorce litigation that could tarnish the reputation of both parties.