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How to tell if collaborative divorce is right for you

Just because you no longer want to be married to your spouse does not mean you automatically want to seek revenge. In fact, you are probably looking for the best way to get the divorce over with as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Alternative dispute resolution is a common approach for those who desire a more effective divorce method than traditional litigation. ADR includes collaborative law. How do you know if collaborative divorce is right for you?

Definition of collaborative law

This type of divorce is midway between litigation and mediation. It requires the use of separate legal representation but does not involve going into a courtroom and convincing a judge of your point of view. Like mediation, it focuses on a spirit of cooperation to work out the terms of your divorce agreement. However, there is no mediator who facilitates the discussion. You both, along with your attorneys, agree to work together toward a solution.

Benefits of collaborative law

Collaboration is a quicker route because you do not have to deal with court dates. This also leads to a lower cost. Moreover, collaborative law is better for your emotional well-being, as well as that of your children, due to its cooperative nature. Because you and your ex are in control of the outcome, you both are more likely to adhere to the terms.

Signs collaborative law is right for you

Despite its many benefits, collaborative divorce is not the best path for everyone. Success is more likely if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your spouse is not abusive, vengeful or dishonest.
  • You both agree to try this approach.
  • You can focus on the issues and the children's best interests.
  • You still want the full assistance and involvement of a lawyer.

The best way to determine if this method is a good fit for your circumstances is to consult your legal representation. Mediation may be possible, or litigation may end up being necessary.

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