Top Five Reasons To Choose Collaborative Divorce
Amy and Jim recently separated. Both parties want to limit the costs of litigation, both emotional and financial. Amy suggested they try collaborative divorce rather than traditional litigation. Jim wonders why he should consider collaborative divorce. Below are five top reasons Jim should consider collaborative divorce.
- Couples who no longer wish to be married to one another but wish to divorce in an amicable, less adversarial manner should seriously consider the collaborative divorce process. Collaborative divorce allows parties to work together toward a long lasting resolution. Foundations for communication are continued during the collaborative process, which will carry into the future. It is an especially helpful process when parties need to continue to communicate to co-parent children and continue to attend children centered functions where both will be present.
- Couples who wish to keep their financial and personal lives private from the general public should seriously consider the collaborative process. In traditional litigation, paperwork is filed with the court, such as financial statements, and court files and courtrooms are open to the public. During the collaborative process the information used and shared during the process is kept private, and there is no need for any contested courtroom testimony. Only the minimum paperwork is filed with the court to obtain a divorce and approved settlement.
- Both parties benefit from a team of shared professionals. In the collaborative process, each party has their own attorney. Depending on the facts and circumstances each party may also chose to have their own mental health coach, or not. Yet their remains opportunities for the parties to share and both learn from the same professionals, such as financial advisors, child specialists, mortgage brokers and others. This results in hiring one instead of two experets, and results in both parties hearing the same information at the same time.
- The Collaborative Divorce process can move more quickly or more slowly than traditional litigation depending on the needs of the parties. Once the court process begins, court deadlines and dates are set that must be complied with, ready or not. The collaborative process allows the parties, in conjunction with the various professionals to set the timetable best for them.
- Litigation is avoided. When you commit to the collaborative process you commit to resolving your disputes through the process. For some, not having the threat of litigation can make it a less stressful process that allows the parties to focus on the issues rather than fault, and to talk more openly and honestly without fear of their words being repeated in a courtroom. It also means that parties do not have to take the stand and say hurtful things about their spouse in order to win favor with the court.
Geraldine Welikson Hess, Esq., Hess Family Law