When divorcing couples trust each other and wish to dissolve their marriage with as little conflict as possible, collaborative divorce can be an excellent option. With collaborative divorce, you meet outside of court to discuss all the issues that need addressing in a divorce, seeking a solution that meets everyone’s needs. The divorce agreement isn’t submitted to the court for review and approval until both spouses are comfortable, confident, and satisfied.
A West Hartford collaborative divorce lawyer guides and assists you as you reach agreements. For example, your collaborative divorce attorney is trained in helping spouses communicate to reach decisions. They will also make sure you understand the pros and cons of the decisions you are making, and explain what agreements are likely to achieve the court’s approval. Freed Marcroft has divorce attorneys who can fulfill this vital role.
When Is Collaborative Divorce the Right Choice?
Issues addressed in collaborative divorce include property division, alimony, parenting plans, and child support. With collaborative divorce, spouses negotiate a full resolution before either files a divorce petition. Collaborative divorces are particularly appealing to high net worth couples and public figures. Since negotiations are confidential, they can divorce privately.
Lawyers are by the spouses’ side throughout the discussions, including during meetings with the neutral collaborative divorce coach. In the most successful collaborative divorces, the couple is truthful, vulnerable, willing to communicate, and share a commitment to reaching fair solutions. That doesn’t mean that they need to agree on everything. Instead, both parties must be determined to achieve a divorce agreement with minimum conflict and be open to creative approaches.
How Collaborative Divorce Works
With collaborative divorce, each spouse hires an attorney with specific skills in creative conflict resolution techniques and who is adept at focusing on constructive discussions. You, your spouse, and both attorneys sign a written document committing to resolving the outstanding issues outside of court. Typically, you’ll hold a series of meetings to discuss solutions to your disagreements. In addition to your collaborative attorneys, expect to work with professionals such as divorce coaches, child behaviorists, real estate specialists, or financial analysts. Your collaborative divorce lawyer will recommend the collaborative professionals that make sense to support you and your circumstances.
When you resolve your issues, your lawyers will draft a Marital Settlement Agreement or a Marital Dissolution Agreement. Under Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-44a, the spouses sign the agreement and their attorneys file it—along with other required documents—with the divorce court at the same time they officially initiate the divorce. The court filings request that the court review and approve the agreement without court hearings or litigation.
What If Collaboration Doesn’t Work?
Collaborative divorce works well for many couples, but if talks break down, you should have a West Hartford attorney who can handle a contested divorce. Your collaborative divorce attorney will not be able to represent you in a contested divorce litigation if your collaborative divorce ends.
A collaborative divorce becomes a contested divorce when talks fail and one spouse files a complaint seeking a divorce. The family court judge will still encourage you to resolve your differences out of court, but if you cannot, then the judge will decide the remaining issues at trial.
Although it’s uncommon, when selecting collaborative divorce, it’s important to understand what happens in the event that your collaborative divorce concludes and you end up in a contested divorce. Our West Hartford attorneys have significant collaborative divorce training and contested divorce experience, so they can help you weigh the pros and cons and provide skilled representation in either case.
Gain Valuable Insight With a West Hartford Collaborative Divorce Attorney
When you have an amicable relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, collaborative divorce can help you and your spouse keep more control over the outcomes in your divorce. It can also lead to more creative solutions and be faster and take less emotional toll than a typical litigated divorce.
Are you committed to resolving your areas of disagreement with as little conflict as possible? Call a West Hartford collaborative divorce lawyer. Freed Marcroft can help you achieve your goals for your future without sacrificing your respectful relationship with your spouse.