Collaborative Divorce – Frequently Asked Questions

Even though collaborative divorce has existed since 1990 many people contemplating divorce don’t know about it.  Following are several frequently asked questions about collaborative divorce which may help you determine whether it is a good approach for your situation.

How is a collaborative divorce different from a traditionally litigated divorce?

In short, collaborative divorce is based on cooperation of the two parties and their attorneys.  Specifically the process calls for:

•    An open and honest exchange of information
•    Insulation of the children from disputes
•    Both parties use the same financial advisors, mental health consultants, appraisers, etc., instead of opposing experts
•    A respectful and productive effort to meet the needs of both spouses rather than tactical bargaining
•    The attorney’s goal is to guide the process to settlement
•    There is parity of payment to each attorney so that neither party is at a disadvantage because of the lack of funds.

Is collaborative divorce less expense than a litigated divorce?

Litigating a divorce is typically the most expensive way of resolving the issues.  Litigated divorces can drag on for a year or longer, require protracted legal maneuvering, more hearings, experts, and a long and stressful trial.  The collaborative divorce process typically moves quickly and avoids many of the legal costs of a typical divorce.  However, the costs of a collaborative divorce are dependent on several factors including:

•    The complexity of the issues
•    The number of professionals involved
•    How long it takes the collaborative team to work though the issues in a way that is in the parties’ best interests

What makes collaborative divorce an effective settlement process?

Collaborative divorce attorneys do not act as hired guns, as is often the case in a litigated divorce.  Instead they work toward and encourage their clients to come up with good-faith solutions to the issues in dispute.  And in a collaborative effort, the attorneys work with one another to help their clients solve the problems, because they cannot succeed unless they also can find solutions to the other party’s problems that both clients find agreeable.
Is collaborative divorce right for me?
No process is right for everyone; however, collaborative divorce may be worth considering if the following speaks to your objectives:

•    You want to resolve the issues in a civilized and respectful way
•    The relationships from your marriage are important to your future
•    You plan to co-parent your children with your ex-spouse
•    You want to protect your children from a stressful and traumatic divorce
•    You want to maintain your privacy and do not want details of your personal life to be available in the public court record.
•    You do not want to give a judge the power to restructure your financial and parenting responsibilities.
•    You and your ex spouse are willing to commit to creative and cooperative problem solving and seek to fix the problem rather than place the blame.

Talk to a NY collaborative divorce attorney to learn your options

No matter what approach you choose to take in your divorce, an experienced attorney can answer your questions and concerns.  To speak to a qualified NY collaborative divorce attorney contact us online today.

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