What is Collaborative Divorce?

A Client-Centered, Resolution-Driven Approach

Collaborative Divorce, also known as Collaborative Law, is a client-centered, resolution-driven approach to navigating the divorce process without going to court and having a judge decide your fate. Instead of filing documents in court and having hearings before a judge, each spouse hires an attorney that has been trained in the collaborative law process. The couple and their individual attorneys attend conferences to exchange information. The goal is to reach an amicable resolution that is in the best interest of the couple and their children, when applicable. Collaborative divorce focuses on a “win-win” philosophy for the parties and their children. During the conferences, the needs, concerns, and objectives of each spouse are discussed with a focus in the three main areas of the separation process:

  • Custody schedules and co-parenting
  • Finances, Expenses and Support
  • Property, assets and debts

The collaborative divorce process may also include neutral third-party professionals such as a financial specialist, appraisers, child centered therapist/counselor and/or divorce coach to assist in reaching an agreement. Once an agreement is reached, the terms are written in a legally binding contract that is signed by both parties and notarized.

The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

  • Maintain control over decisions
  • Agreements are reached by mutual consent
  • The process is time limited
  • Reduced costs
  • Maintains your privacy
  • Reduces animosity between the parties
  • Assist the parties in co-parenting in a positive healthy manner

Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive initial consultation with an attorney to determine if Collaborative Divorce is a good option for you to move toward the new life you want and deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if Collaborative Divorce is an option for me?
Can my spouse and I use the same Collaborative Divorce attorney?
What happens if we don’t come to an agreement through the Collaborative Divorce process?
What is the difference between Collaborative Law and mediation?
Are we required to involve 3rd party non-attorney professionals?
What are the fees for Collaborative Divorce?
Can my Collaborative Divorce attorney represent me in court?
If an agreement is reached, do I get some sort of document with the terms of the agreement?
Do all meetings involve my spouse and his/her Collaborative Divorce attorney?
Will I have to provide financial documents throughout the Collaborative Law process?
How do I know if Collaborative Divorce is an option for me?

Everyone’s situation is unique, and Collaborative Divorce is one of the options for navigating the divorce process. When you schedule an initial consultation with a Collaborative Divorce attorney, they will listen to your situation, and walk you through the different options for the divorce process in North Carolina.

Can my spouse and I use the same Collaborative Divorce attorney?

No. Each spouse must independently meet with and hire a Collaborative Law attorney to represent them in the Collaborative Divorce process.

What happens if we don’t come to an agreement through the Collaborative Divorce process?

While the majority of Collaborative Divorce proceedings end with a signed settlement agreement, sometimes an agreement is not reached and the parties proceed to court. When this happens, each party must hire a new attorney to represent them in court. Everything that was said during Collaborative Divorce proceedings is considered privileged and confidential and cannot be used in court proceedings.

What is the difference between Collaborative Law and mediation?

In mediation, each spouse is represented by an attorney, and there is an unbiased 3rd party communicating between the two parties and their attorneys in an attempt to reach an agreement. In Collaborative Law, the spouses and their collaborative divorce attorneys all work together to reach an agreement. If appropriate, 3rd party professionals such as a financial specialist, mental health professional, and/or divorce coach may join the Collaborative Law team to help the parties reach an agreement.

Are we required to involve 3rd party non-attorney professionals?

No. During the first collaborative conference, the couple and their attorneys will meet to review and sign the Collaborative Divorce Agreement and determine the need for 3rd party non-attorney profession involvement.

What are the fees for Collaborative Divorce?

The process will begin with a comprehensive initial consultation with an attorney to determine if Collaborative Law is appropriate for your situation. The fee for the initial consultation is $250. If it is determined that Collaborative Law is a good fit, you will leave the initial consultation knowing the total cost associated with the Collaborative Divorce process.

Can my Collaborative Divorce attorney represent me in court?

No. If an agreement is not reached, per the Collaborative Divorce Agreement that all parties will sign, neither collaborative law attorney can represent their client in court.

If an agreement is reached, do I get some sort of document with the terms of the agreement?

Yes. When an agreement is reached, the attorneys will draft a legally binding document that both parties will sing in front of a notary.

Do all meetings involve my spouse and his/her Collaborative Divorce attorney?

No. You and your attorney can have confidential meetings to discuss any questions or concerns.

Will I have to provide financial documents throughout the Collaborative Law process?

During conferences where all parties are present, relevant information is exchanged and reviewed to foster transparent communication in hopes to work toward an agreement that is in the best interest of the spouses and their children.

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