The "NEW" Divorce Method
"Collaborative Divorce" is a rather recent alternative to a potentially litigated divorce proceedings. In collaborative divorce proceedings, all parties commit agree via a Stipulation and Order filed with the Court to resolve their issues without going to Court. In an Collaborative Divorce, the only time the parties step foot in the Courts is for the final divorce hearing which customarily last 15-20 minutes, is referred to as a "Stipulated Divorce Hearing" and is often conducted in the presence of a Court Commissioner rather than a Judge.
Collaborative Divorce results in a number of valuable benefits:
It fosters a cooperative environment with open communications to help meet the needs of the spouses and the children.
Establishes the atmosphere of a team rather than one where people are battling as adversaries. In a collaborative divorce the team works together to complete the task together, to work towards a "win-win" resolution all the while allowing the parties who this effects the most to retain control of the process.
The process enables the parties greater flexibility and efficiency as the process not only allows but encourages the parties to bring in expert consultants, such as child and family specialists and financial neutrals, to provide valuable perspectives and ideas
The process as a result of its structure and fundamental prospective saves time by allowing the parties to schedule meetings at times and places convenient to them rather than dates and times convenient to the Judge.
Your issues stay within the Collaborative Team providing for greater privacy and confidentiality.
You and your spouse shape the agreement that binds you; in working together, you both are more likely to honor the agreement and avoid future court intervention, costs and most importantly further emotional pain and distress.
The primary goal of Collaborative Divorce is to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of all parties concerned while maintaining the dignity of each party and the relationship and obligations that extend beyond the divorce.
The process seeks to replace the normal potentially controversial and adversarial approach to divorce with a respectful process which takes everyone's fears, concerns and needs to heart.
Within the collaborative divorce process
each spouse obtains a separate collaboratively trained divorce lawyer with whom he or she meets privately.
Joint sessions include all parties (both attorneys and both spouses) and in many instances when the facts deem it to be appropriate the Child Specialist and/or Financial Neutral.
If one or both parties wish to pursue litigation, both attorneys are legally obligated to withdraw from the process and may not represent either party; consequently, both parties would then be required to hire new attorneys and pursue their divorce through the court system. While this most certainly will be viewed as a negative to the process, it has been shown to be a positive as the costs associated with essentially starting over is a significant disincentive with failing to comply with the Collaborative Stipulation and Order or even threatening litigation as a psychological ploy.
Collaborative Divorce as a process strives to reduce the emotional costs of divorce; it may also reduce the financial costs in contrast to a legal battle within the court system.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How Long Does A Collaborative Divorce Take? While impossible to say for certain, the expectation has been that a Collaborative Divorce is more expedient than a Traditional Divorce because (1) there is a constant push to the finish line as each party and their lawyers are assigned tasks that move the action along. (2) Coaches are integrated to insure that each party is dealing with issues as they arise so that emotion does not unnecessarily cloud the objective. (3) The shared acceptance of the fact that a divorce action has occurred and the realization that it is better to work together on a common goal than become unnecessarily adversarial.
- Is Collaborative Divorce More Expensive or Less Expensive Than Traditional Divorce? While impossible to say for certain, the expectation is that it is less expensive. The reasoning is based upon the fact that in many instances costs are shared that usually would not be shared, the agreement to not be unnecessarily adversarial and shared desire to form some kind of working relationship so that issues can be collaboratively worked through- not only during the divorce but throughout the remainder of the parties' lives.
The information you obtain at this site is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
Copyright (c) 2010 by the Attorney Christopher Drosen. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All Copies must include this copyright statement.
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