Divorce does not have to be the dramatic, courtroom event that pits one spouse against the other that many people imagine it to be. Choosing a collaborative approach to your divorce can help you avoid some or all of the most contentious aspects that can accompany litigated divorces.
Collaborative divorce is an alternative to a courtroom divorce. It allows parties to resolve divorce-related matters cooperatively and stay out of court. This approach has numerous benefits, including the following:
- Allowing parties to have more control - When you and your soon-to-be ex work together to reach agreements, you retain more control over the outcome. You can customize your agreements to align with your specific case. This can make it likelier that parties will be more satisfied with the results and less bitter.
- Providing an atmosphere of support and productivity - In court, spouses fight against each other. In a collaborative divorce, divorcing spouses work together and with other professionals, including their own lawyers, to find solutions. Everyone involved in the process should be committed to the collaborative process. With this team approach, it can be easier to be productive.
- Keeping time and costs of divorce down - Because parties do not have to bend to the court's schedule or engage in the formal proceedings of litigation, they can get through a divorce faster. And collaboration allows parties to avoid some of the extra costs that go with a litigated divorce, like court fees.
- Preserving the peace- Working together instead of battling each other in court can allow parties to end a marriage more respectfully and peacefully. If parties are amicable, or if they are parents who will continue to have a relationship after the divorce, preserving whatever peace and positivity there may still be can be quite valuable.
These and other benefits of a collaborative divorce are certainly worth considering if you are divorcing. However, it is important to recognize that a collaborative divorce is not right for everyone. In cases where parties cannot cooperate or if there is a history of abuse or violence, working together in this setting may not be effective or appropriate.