Will A Collaborative Divorce Work For You?
While it’s true that many divorces are highly volatile, it’s also true that for some couples, friendship still forms the basis of the relationship, even though romantic love and marriage are no longer desired. If you are on relatively good terms with a spouse that you wish to divorce, a collaborative divorce may be the best option going forward.
Understanding the Procedure
The steps involved in a collaborative divorce, as outlined by the Collaborative Law Process Act, start with an agreement as to how the matter will proceed and how participating parties will behave during and after the process. From there, various issues will be discussed and signed off along the way. Instead of testy negotiations, the parties are encouraged to create a win-win scenario, on matters ranging from property division to custody and visitation issues.
Unlike typical divorce scenarios, a collaborative divorce does not involve discovery or hearings. Instead, transparency guides all discussions, and parties voluntarily share documents and information relevant to the proceedings. The elimination of subpoenas, witness testimony, and experts related to forensic accounting, social work, or other specialties reduces the amount of time and money that must be dedicated to completing the divorce. Generally, meetings occur with an agenda of items for discussion. Prior to the meetings, each party will meet with their attorneys to discuss the issues and come to an understanding of what to expect. A mental health professional facilitates the discussions, where notes will be taken, eventually leading to tentative agreements that will be included in the final settlement. The strategy is to emphasize positive outcomes and collaboration.
The collaborative process can begin prior to any legal proceedings, and in many cases bypass the courtroom altogether. If the court is already involved, the attorneys from both parties may be required to provide updates as to the progress of the negotiations. In the event one or both parties become unhappy with the process, it can be terminated at any time, and attorneys must immediately notify the court.
A Certified Attorney
Having an attorney who is certified in the collaborative process is essential to the best possible outcomes. Your goal, after all, is to enjoy a moderated discussion of some difficult topics. Not every lawyer is equipped for this, so having one that you know has been trained to listen and to elicit cooperation from parties with differing goals is key to a successful outcome.
Whether you are just thinking about divorce or already beginning discussions, the certified Boca Raton collaborative lawyers at WiseLieberman can help you to achieve desired outcomes as they work toward the benefit of your family. Any divorce comes with emotional, financial, and procedural tribulations. We can assist in minimizing these as you come to a peaceful resolution. Contact our office for a confidential consultation today.