Divorce is never easy and the process rarely moves forward as planned. Although divorce can sometimes get emotional, it is possible to complete the process in a cost-effective and efficient way — if both you and your ex-spouse are up to the challenge.
A collaborative divorce proceeds similarly to a regular divorce, but with alternative dispute resolution methods and some commitment stipulations. Both parties must commit to entering cooperative negotiations and resolving contested issues together. The parties also understand that a failure to reach a settlement under these circumstances means that their lawyers will withdraw from the process and will not participate in the litigation that follows.
When entering into negotiations under a collaborative divorce, parties will sign a participation agreement, which demonstrates their commitment to resolving disputes based on best interests. This agreement will also stipulate what this commitment looks like and means, and can include rules such as non-adversarial negotiation, acting in children’s best interests and retaining neutral experts.
Of course, many of these issues are the areas that make divorce so difficult, which is why collaborative divorce is not for everyone. However, those who feel they are secure enough to abide by these guidelines will benefit in the long run.
Collaborative divorce might be a good option if the incentives involved are substantial enough to motivate the parties to proceed appropriately. It is especially beneficial for people with families because it helps maintain focus on acting in the best interests of the children. Everyone involved is committed to minimizing the harmful and emotionally damaging effects of the process.
If you are preparing for a divorce and feel that you and your spouse can commit to a collaborative process, call an experienced attorney right away.