Unlike divorce handled in the courtroom, the collaborative divorce process focuses on amicable resolution outside a courtroom. It is a client-centered approach far from the usual depictions of divorce that you see in the media. If you are interested in a “win-win” divorce where you and your spouse work together to decide how to move forward, collaborative divorce may be for you.
What Is Collaborative Divorce?
In collaborative divorce, you and your spouse attend conferences to discuss issues related to divorce. You both hire separate attorneys trained in the collaborative law process. The attorneys come to the conferences with you and help you exchange information. You can also have confidential meetings with just your lawyer.
Your goal during the conferences is to discuss and agree on issues related to:
- Dividing property
- Dealing with debts
- Custody arrangements
- Child and spousal support
- Finances and expenses
Since these issues can be complicated or difficult to decide, you may seek the help of professionals during the collaborative divorce. These neutral third parties could include an appraiser, financial specialist, divorce coach, therapist, or counselor. However, you are not required to use third parties. During the first conference you, your spouse, and your attorneys will decide if they are needed.
Exchange of Information
Collaborative divorce depends on an exchange of information and mutual desire to come to an agreement. During the conferences, you and your attorneys will exchange relevant information. This could include financial or other personal documents.
What Happens If We Reach an Agreement?
If you and your spouse reach an agreement during the conferences, great! Your attorneys will prepare a written agreement detailing everything you agreed upon, and both parties will sign it in front of a notary. This agreement is legally binding for you and your spouse.
Unfortunately, sometimes spouses cannot reach an agreement. In that case, you will go to court. The discussions you had during the conferences are considered privileged and confidential, not to be shared in court. You must also hire a new attorney to represent you in court.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative divorce has many benefits. You and your spouse can reach an amicable resolution to your divorce. You can reduce animosity and reach an agreement through mutual consent. It can also help you continue to co-parent effectively when separated. Moreover, the cost and time savings of collaborative divorce could be significant compared to going to court. If you are interested in collaborative divorce, speak to a lawyer trained in collaborative law today.
Let New Direction Family Law Assist You
If you want to know more about collaborative divorce, the team at New Direction Family Law is available today to answer your questions. With decades of combined legal experience, our attorneys are knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate professionals. We will help you understand your legal rights and work hard toward your best outcome. We proudly serve clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 646-6561 to schedule a consultation, or visit us at our website.