Getting a divorce has become much more accessible and less stigmatized. Updated laws, regulations, and societal norms have all made getting a divorce less of a taboo and newer methods for ending a marriage have been devised. Couples are now more likely to approach the end of their marriage with a cooperative mindset rather than a combative one. Rather than the old view of divorce as a messy legal battle involving drawn-out court battles and lots of money, many are approaching divorce with a new mindset. One of the most popular alternatives to traditional adversarial divorce is collaborative divorce.
Collaborative divorce is a process in which both parties work together with a team of legal professionals to mutually resolve divorce matters. The team typically includes lawyers, financial experts, and mental health professionals. The goal of the collaborative process is to reach an agreement that is fair and equitable for both parties. Often a collaborative divorce agreement will include a non-litigation clause which would mean that if the process was unsuccessful the lawyers would recuse themselves and would force the divorcees to find new counsel, ensuring that everyone is vested in the process.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
More Control Over the Process
In a traditional divorce, a judge makes all of the decisions. In a collaborative divorce, the couple works together to come up with a solution that works for both of them. This can lead to a more satisfying outcome for both parties, as they have more control over the process and can tailor the outcome to their specific needs. There is not a focus on “winning” but rather on coming to a fair and equitable conclusion to the marriage.
Collaborative divorce requires both parties to communicate and work together. This can lead to improved communication skills that can benefit the couple in the long run, particularly if they have children together. By learning to communicate effectively, they can co-parent more successfully after the divorce. They are also legally bound to the decisions of the collaborative divorce and there are consequences for not agreeing to the process. This gives everyone a vested interest in coming to a compromise.
Divorce can be a stressful and emotional experience. Collaborative divorce can help to reduce that stress by providing a more supportive and less adversarial environment. By involving experts, binding agreements, and an understanding of cooperation a collaborative divorce has a focus on being amicable first. The couple can work together to create a plan that works for both of them, without the added stress and extended costs of litigation.
Collaborative divorce can be less expensive than traditional divorce. Since both parties work together, there are fewer legal fees and court costs. Additionally, the process can be more efficient, which can save time and money.
Better Outcomes for Children
Divorce can be particularly difficult for children. Collaborative divorce can help to minimize the impact of divorce on children by providing a more peaceful and supportive environment. Additionally, since the couple works together to create a parenting plan, the needs of the children can be better met. Often the collaborative divorce process includes child psychology experts to help craft a better co-parenting plan than would be created during an adversarial divorce.
In summary, collaborative divorce is a healthier alternative to traditional divorce. It can provide couples with more control over the process, better communication skills, less stress, lower costs, and better outcomes for children. If you are considering divorce, an attorney who focuses on collaborative divorce can advise you on how to begin the process to amicably end your marriage.