Divorce is painful, but it doesn’t have to be destructive. Collaborative divorce is a method of settling divorce agreements respectfully, without court intervention. It combines the benefits of each partner being represented by an attorney with the cooperative nature of face-to-face negotiation.
Collaborative divorce is based on three key principles:
- A pledge to resolve issues out of court – An essential difference between a conventional divorce and a collaborative approach is the pledge to reach an agreement outside of a courtroom. This empowers the individuals involved to play an active role in the process, rather than relinquishing power to a judge.
- A commitment to open and transparent communication – Collaborative divorce sessions are designed to encourage honest conversations between you and your spouse. By conducting straight-forward and respectful discussions, expectations and needs can be more easily presented and addressed.
- A customized solution that addresses the highest priorities of both spouses and their children – The primary intent of the collaborative divorce process is to take control of your situation and tailor a resolution to meet the unique needs of your family.
The collaborative approach involves a small team of uniquely-skilled professionals. This group will help guide you through the legal, financial and emotional aspects of your divorce in order to avoid battling over the issues in court.
Collaborative divorce consists of a series of face-to-face meetings which are intended to be non-confrontational. The primary goal of these meetings is finding an amicable, mutually acceptable resolution between the spouses. A typical session includes six people:
- The divorcing couple
- Their respective attorneys
- A financial professional
- A family mental health professional
A collaborative approach to divorce offers several benefits, including:
- Avoids courtroom battles
- Saves money by eliminating court appearances and all associated fees
- Keeps control of the process in the hands of the divorcing couple instead of in the hands of a judge
- Establishes a forum for open communication
- Emphasizes mutual respect
- Focuses on the interests and concerns of all
- Provides for the needs of children and typically ensures a smoother transition to post-divorce life
- Keeps personal information out of public record
While many parting couples can benefit from the collaborative approach, it is not always right for everyone. The process may not work in situations where:
- Domestic violence is occurring
- One or both parties have alcohol or drug problems
- One or both parties has a mental illness
- One or both parties cannot commit to the collaborative process
- One or both parties is unwilling to disclose financial or other information
The collaborative divorce attorneys at Syprett Meshad are intimate with all aspects of family law and can recommend a course of action that meets the needs of you and your family.