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A collaborative divorce offers numerous advantages

Divorce is often an expensive and emotionally challenging process for many couples. A divorce can also have a significantly negative impact on any children involved, and parents typically wish to minimize this effect.

A collaborative divorce may be an ideal option for divorcing individuals who wish to avoid these potential issues. A collaborative divorce is less costly, more efficient and aims to reduce the stress involved with traditional divorce litigation.

The collaborative divorce process

A collaborative divorce focuses on identifying issues and problem solving. Negotiation and mediation concepts are used to enable divorcing couples to focus on achieving a mutually agreed upon divorce settlement.

The collaborative divorce process begins with each individual hiring an attorney. Both individuals then typically meet privately with the attorney, identifying goals and explaining what they hope to achieve through the divorce process. It is important for an individual to clearly communicate any goals, but to also remember that compromise will likely be necessary.

A series of meetings involving the divorcing couple and the attorneys typically occurs next. Various other professionals, such as financial planners or child custody experts, may be called into these meetings to provide any necessary information that enables the divorcing individuals to come to an agreement on key issues.

If there is difficulty reaching an agreement on an issue, a mediator may be brought in to facilitate discussion. Once a satisfactory agreement is achieved, the agreement and divorce papers are filed with an appropriate court.

Advantages to a collaborative divorce

There are numerous advantages to the collaborative divorce process. USA Today reports that a collaborative divorce is usually faster and less expensive. Additionally, the divorcing individuals are able to set a mutually convenient schedule, providing a greater degree of flexibility over the process. A collaborative divorce also normally takes place in a much more relaxed setting than a courtroom, reducing the potential for emotionally charged conflict.

A collaborative divorce can also be extremely beneficial for children. Children may have trouble adjusting to a divorce if the process involves a great deal of conflict. Furthermore, staying in contact with a former spouse is usually necessary when children are involved, and the collaborative divorce process increases the chance that the divorcing individuals will be able to maintain a stable relationship in the future.

Finally, resolving issues is also usually easier in a collaborative divorce. For example, if there is disagreement over the value of a certain item, such as a family business, traditional litigation may result in two financial experts arguing over valuation. However, in a collaborative divorce this discussion would likely take place outside of court with a single, neutral valuation expert.

A divorcing individual with questions about the collaborative divorce process could benefit by speaking with a family law attorney experienced in collaborative divorce. A qualified attorney can assist with exploring all available options and achieving an amicable solution for everyone involved.