Often, the dissolution of a marriage is a lengthy and stressful process. But it doesn’t always have to be. If both spouses see eye to eye on the matter, you can try a different method: collaborative divorce.
The experienced team of legal professionals at Jensen Family Law in Mesa AZ believes in this process and its potential to help families through tough times. Besides, their team of compassionate and understanding divorce lawyers can work with you and your spouse to come to a resolution.
So, what is Collaborative Divorce? How can it benefit your family? In essence, collaborative divorce is a process in which both spouses work together with their lawyers to agree on the terms of their divorce. This implies you won’t need to fight each other in court.
Besides, it allows the couple to remain amicable after the finalization of their divorce. By so doing, you can still have a positive relationship for the sake of your children.
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What Does the Process Involve?
For a collaborative divorce to work, both parties have to make compromises. Plus, as the term suggests, they must cooperate.
Usually, the process commences when spouses hire their collaborative lawyer and sign a participation agreement. Based on the agreement, neither of the legal representatives can represent either party in court should you fail to agree to the collaborative process.
The couple then meets with their lawyers to start discussing the terms of the divorce. Through these discussions, they work out an agreement that suits both parties.
Either party can also seek counsel separately before the meetings. During such private sessions, you can discuss your feelings about the divorce and what you want to happen. While at it, you may talk about aspects such as:
- Child support
- Visitation rights
- Property division.
The idea is to have the lawyer understand your preferences before the collaborative meeting. Sometimes, a financial expert or a divorce coach may also be brought in to help with the negotiations. A mental health professional may also come in handy as they can help the couple deal with emotional issues they may be facing. Similarly, you may rope in a child specialist to help with child-related issues.
As we’ve noted, the idea is to help you hammer out a deal without going to court. If you cannot agree on some aspects, you may involve a neutral mediator to help you reach an agreement.
Once all the parties agree on the divorce terms, they’ll sign a settlement agreement – a legally binding document you both must uphold. And since the divorce is uncontested, the legal process is usually hassle-free. However, if mediation fails, the collaborative divorce process has to end, and each party must hire new lawyers to represent them in court.
What are the Upsides of Collaborative Divorce?
As aforementioned, collaborative divorce lets you avoid the tedious court process. As such, if you and your spouse opt to take this route, you can enjoy several benefits, such as:
You won’t have to spend money on court fees and other related costs.
Since the process takes place outside of court, it’s more private. This is ideal for couples who want to keep their divorce out of the public eye.
The collaborative divorce process is usually shorter than the traditional approach.
In many cases, the outcome of a collaborative divorce is more favorable to both parties. Usually, you’re working together to agree rather than having a judge decide for you. And since collaborative divorce is interest-based, it allows both parties to be heard and have a say in the decisions made about their lives.
Family-centered conflict resolution
The process focuses on the needs of the entire family, not just the couple. Despite the end of a marriage, both spouses have relationships and obligations, especially if children are in the picture. As such, you can both focus on mutual goals so you can all move forward with your eyes on the future.
Collaboration allows both parties to control the entire process. And since the court won’t interfere, you can tailor the agreement to fit your needs, goals, and situation. That way, everyone can walk away from the discussion table satisfied with the outcome.
Collaborative divorce may be the way to go if you’re looking for an amicable process. But of course, it’s not for everyone. Before you take this route, talk about it with your soon-to-be ex. You should also consult your lawyer to see if collaborative divorce is an option in your state.