Collaborative Law or Collaborative Divorce is a specific process that helps families divorce in a healthier manner using a much more holistic approach. This is done by working with multiple professionals (depending on the family’s needs), including financial analysts, child specialists, and divorce coaches. Although each party is represented by counsel, each attorney is specially trained to work with–not against–the other party’s attorney to come up with meaningful solutions. With multiple professionals involved, the costs are often lower than that of the traditional court model and, more importantly, families are able to find ways to move forward with less animosity.
In Collaborative Divorce or Mediation, you and your spouse get to be involved in the decision-making in determining what documents are necessary. You also are working together, so you will not waste resources forcing the other one to track down documents. There are no court appearances in this process, which saves a lot of time and money. In these processes, the parties also often get to a point where they can make certain agreements on their own without the help of the attorneys and the professionals involved. This again helps the parties save money.
It can definitely sound like a lot of work and money to bring in other professionals. What we have found is that by and large, with professionals each doing their part, the overall costs for a family can be much less. Additionally, agreements can often be more durable so you are not needing to come back and make changes as often as happens with divorce court cases.
The good news is that the couple has more control over how long this will take. Some cases can be done in as quickly as one month and we have had some go up to nearly two years because the parties decided to take a break from the process. Most cases, however, are complete within about 3 to 6 months.
Yes. Each spouse needs to have his or her own attorney for the collaborative process.
Yes, but it is not required. Collaborative Divorce is a specific system that helps parties reach resolution (i.e., it is not just working in a collaborative fashion). Attorneys are taught how to work in a specific team model during collaborative trainings, which is different than what that attorney may have learned in law school. The process is generally smoother and the results are generally better for both parties if both attorneys have that training, but it can still work if only one attorney is collaboratively-trained.
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