Collaborative divorce isn’t the same as amicable or uncontested divorce. Simply put, collaborative divorce allows spouses to work out their own settlement, through their attorneys, without the supervision, delays or constraints associated with going to court.
This non-traditional, alternative divorce process is conducted in numerous controlled meetings. At these meetings, each spouse, and his or her family law attorney, negotiate and discuss pertinent legal issues such as debt division, child custody and visitation, property division, child support and spousal maintenance. This process often ends positively as each party has made the choice to treat his or her spouse with dignity despite the painful reasons for the divorce. Before commencing, a pledge is made that all information shared is confidential. Because of the honest commitment of this process, children are often protected and seeds are planted for a working relationship after divorce. This is especially helpful if the individuals wish to co-parent a child.
If the collaborative process fails, the spouses dismiss the current attorneys and move forward with a new set of lawyers. If both parties cooperate in the decision-making process, collaborative divorce is often less expensive than traditional litigation. Based on a theory of mutual trust and respect, it is important to understand that not all cases are created equally and not every couple should look to participate in a collaborative divorce process.
*This article is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed BurnettTurner attorney.
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