FAQs About Collaborative Divorce

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What are the advantages of a Collaborative Divorce
over a litigated divorce?

There are many advantages to the Collaborative process over litigation, but among the most important are:

Client Involvement. The client is in the best position to know what is best for him or herself, and the Collaborative process is designed to focus on the needs and desires of the parties. In litigation, the judge decides what will happen to your family and your assets.

Less Stressful. The prospect of going to Court and participating in depositions produces anxiety in everyone. Collaborative Divorce is designed to create and maintain a stress-free environment for you and your family, so that you can focus on your future.

Support. In a Collaborative Divorce, you have the support of a team whose sole focus is the best possible outcome for you and your family. Your lawyer and your coach will guide you through this difficult process and will be available to you as needed.

Creativity. The Collaborative Process allows for a great degree of creativity in forming solutions for your unique situation, which are simply not available in Court.

Respect. Unlike the frequent “mud slinging” of litigation, Collaborative Divorce is a respectful and dignified process, which raises the bar for all involved.

What is the “Collaborative Team?”

In addition to the divorcing couple, the collaborative team consists of an attorney and a coach for each party, a financial neutral, and a child specialist (if there are children). All of the professionals on the team have been fully trained in the Collaborative Process, as well as in their individual specialties.

The coaches are mental health professionals, but do not serve as therapists in the collaborative process. They help facilitate communication, as needed, and work with the parties to prepare a parenting plan when there are children.

The financial neutral gathers the financial information from the parties, prepares summaries of the data, and helps the parties to reach a financial settlement which will work for everyone involved.

If there are children, the parties and children will meet with the child specialist, who will serve as the “voice of the children” during the process.

Will a Collaborative Divorce cost more
or less than a litigated divorce?

A Collaborative Divorce almost always costs significantly less than a fully litigated divorce. However, if you are interested in the best product for your money, or the biggest “bang for your buck,” a Collaborative Divorce surpasses even a mediated divorce for quality of the final result.

What is the difference between mediation
and Collaborative Divorce?

In mediation, an impartial third party (the mediator) facilitates negotiations between the parties. In Collaborative Divorce, the team works as a whole to insure that the final result is the best one for every member of the family. While mediation may be used in Collaborative Divorces, it is rarely needed, as the team is usually able to resolve all of the issues without a mediator.

How do I know if Collaborative Divorce is right for my situation?

In order to determine whether or not Collaborative Divorce is right for you and your spouse, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I want to lessen the stress and arguments involved when making decisions with my spouse regarding our     children and our assets?
  • Do I want to assure that my children are protected during and after the divorce?
  • Am I more interested in moving on with my life than in perpetuating a court battle?
  • Would I prefer to keep the issues of my divorce private rather than having them aired in a public courtroom?
  • Do I want to be in control of my own future, as opposed to leaving those decisions up to a judge?
  • Do I want to be treated with respect and dignity during my divorce?
  • Do I trust that my spouse would be honest in his or her dealings in the Collaborative Process?
  • Do I want for our children to be able to invite both of their parents to the special events in their lives?

If your answers to these questions are “yes”, Collaborative Divorce may well be for you.