What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative Divorce is a process for separating or divorcing parties to justly and equitably resolve their differences that avoids the necessity of going to court.
Do I need an attorney to represent me if I select the Collaborative Divorce process?
Yes. You will be represented by an attorney and your spouse will be represented by an attorney. Under the Collaborative Divorce process, both parties and their attorneys agree to promote an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity and professionalism.
Since we don't go to court, how is my case resolved?
Collaborative Divorce engages in informal discussions and conferences to settle all issues. The attorneys assist the parties in resolving their differences through cooperative strategies rather than adversarial techniques and litigation. Once a settlement is reached through this non-adversarial approach, the agreement is put into writing and becomes a binding contract.
Is the Collaborative Divorce process expensive?
The cost for a is a function of time. Mediators in our area charge $ 150 - $275 per hour. Lawyers charge between $175 and $400 per hour. Each case is different so it is difficult to determine exactly how expensive your case will be. No matter which process you choose: the greater the conflict, the more time will be needed to resolve your case. The Collaborative Divorce process is designed to limit the conflict. This process is generally less costly and time-consuming than litigation.
How do I know that my spouse is being truthful with regard to what we own and what he or she earns?
As part of the Collaborative Divorce process, both parties sign a binding Participation Agreement that requires each of them to disclose all documents and information that relate to financial issues. Neutral experts, such as accountants and appraisers, are employed if needed. Of course, someone may still withhold information. That can happen in conventional litigation, as well. What's different about Collaborative Divorce is that the collaborative agreement requires a lawyer to withdraw if his or her client is being less than fully honest, or participating in the process with less than full good faith. The other party is then free to pursue resolution through the traditional litigation process.
Why is the Collaborative Divorce process different than other methods to resolve a divorce?
The Collaborative Divorce process is designed to empower the clients to fashion agreements that address their unique concerns. The objective is to produce results that are more creative than those received from a court in the adversarial process. The goal is to enable parties to reach a fair and reasonable settlement that addresses and meets the needs of both parties. Collaborative Divorce requires each party and each attorney to take a reasoned position on all issues. Where such positions differ, all participants use their best efforts to create proposals that meet the fundamental needs of both parties and, if necessary, to compromise to reach a settlement of all issues. Collaborative Divorce allows attorneys to use good analysis and reasoning, often stunted by litigation, to solve problems.
How do I get started in the Collaborative Divorce process?
Select an attorney from the list of participating and trained attorneys. She or he will discuss in further detail the Collaborative Divorce process and answer any specific questions that you may have. This will give you the opportunity and information to decide whether the Collaborative Divorce process is right for you.