For decades if people were getting a divorce, they could expect to have to present their cases in front of a judge. Even if they were largely in agreement about how they wanted it to go, this environment naturally led to conflict. Today, however, there is an alternative that is quickly growing in popularity. Collaborative divorce is a process where both parties (along with their attorneys) focus on finding common ground, and completing the divorce with as little conflict as possible.
Entering a Participation Agreement
A collaborative divorce begins when both parties sign a participation agreement. This agreement lays out the ground rules for all future discussions and agreements. While each agreement can be unique, they will typically all contain guidelines that help ensure the children’s best interests are put first, and that the attorneys will work toward an agreement between the two parties.
One of the most important parts of the participation agreement is that it states that if a settlement between the parties cannot be reached, both of the lawyers will withdraw from the process. This means that both parties would have to retain new representation for any litigation. This is important because it encourages the lawyers to focus on finding areas of agreement rather than conflict. For the couple getting a divorce, it means that if they can’t agree on things, they will have to start over with new attorneys, which will cost them a lot of time and money.
Dramatically Reduced Conflict
One of the biggest advantages of collaborative divorce is that it virtually eliminates the threat of litigation. With this off the table, all parties are able to openly pursue areas of agreement and compromise. This allows the couple to put aside petty arguments and focus on coming to a conclusion that will be mutually beneficial.
Much Better for Children
Even more importantly than the reduced conflict (though it is a direct result of it) is that any children involved will be much better off. Even if parents work hard to hide the conflict from the children, it is virtually impossible. Kids can sense this type of thing, especially during a divorce where emotions are already running high. A collaborative divorce allows the parents to work together as a team to get through this difficult time with as little impact to the children as possible.
Contact Us for a Collaborative Divorce
If you are looking for an experienced collaborative divorce attorney, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can set up a consultation to discuss your situation, and see how we can help you to get through your divorce quickly, affordably, and with as little conflict as possible.