When a divorce goes to court, the trial process itself often makes an already stressful situation even worse. The adversarial nature of divorce litigation automatically pits one spouse against the other, and a judge has the final say about important decisions that may have lifetime consequences.
Collaborative divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which each partner retains his or her own legal representative, but both sides agree to work together to reach a fair and workable settlement outside of court.
1. Safeguarding children
When a divorce involves children, the teamwork approach of collaboration can be invaluable for preserving a respectful relationship between parents. Additionally, parents may choose to meet with family counselors or other childcare specialists who can help make the transition easier for both parents and children.
2. Ensuring financial security
Spouses may also work with third-party financial advisors who can help find creative yet realistic solutions to property division and support payment issues. Rather than rely on a judge to determine what is equitable, collaboration gives partners the opportunity to make financial choices based on their specific circumstances.
3. Maintaining control of decisions
Once a divorce goes to court, the law automatically imposes a strict timeline for the trial process. When the trial is complete, the law constrains the types of judgments the court can make.
During a collaborative divorce, spouses determine their own timeline and make their own decisions about the terms of the settlement. In addition to helping to relieve stress about the outcome of the separation, the collaborative process allows both partners ample time and support to make choices that may last a lifetime.