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Answering top FAQs about collaborative divorce

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Collaborative Law |

There are many different approaches to the modern divorce process. Some spouses choose the scorched-earth approach in which they do everything in their power to cause consequences for their spouses with no regard for the long-term impact of their choices.

Others may want a faster or more amicable divorce. Collaborative divorce is one of the ways to reduce the conflict that arises when people decide to divorce. Many people have questions about collaborative divorce that they want to answer before they commit to an alternative approach to ending a marriage.

What questions do people often need to answer about collaborative divorce when they consider it as an alternative to traditional litigation?

How does collaborative divorce work?

The basic requirements of collaborative divorce include a willingness to cooperate with a spouse and separate legal representation. Both spouses typically discuss the marriage and their expectations for the divorce with their own attorneys. They then later have sit-down sessions with everyone present where they try to negotiate or collaborate. If compromise proves difficult, spouses may attend mediation as part of the collaborative divorce process. If they are successful, they then file an uncontested divorce in family court.

Can someone back out of collaborative arrangements?

The attempt to collaborate could theoretically put someone at a disadvantage later if their spouse does not enter into those arrangements in good faith with the intention of cooperating. Collaborative divorce typically involves signing a written agreement that commits both spouses to a cooperative approach to divorce even if the process proves challenging. With rare exceptions, people typically need to follow through with a promise to pursue collaborative divorce instead of changing their minds with little warning.

Is collaborative divorce more expensive?

When collaborative divorce negotiations are successful, spouses can generally expect to reduce how much time they spend in family court. Court proceedings are often a main contributor to the overall expense of a divorce. Therefore, couples who settle matters outside of court and file for uncontested divorces often pay far less even if they have to work with mediators or spend hours with their lawyers.

Those who still have unanswered questions about the collaborative divorce process may want to explore alternative approaches to divorce more thoroughly before committing to one arrangement. Collaborative divorce proceedings don’t work for everyone, but they are a viable solution in a broad range of difficult family scenarios.