Collaborative Method Divorce
How you can Save Time and Minimize Stress
Even as society becomes more progressive with its understanding of relationships, the word “divorce” still conjures up images of angry spouses fighting for months or even years over money, property, and children. For some couples, the thought of going through a tempestuous battle for the better part of a year is a fear that keeps them trapped in a marriage that just isn’t working for either partner. What these individuals may not realize, however, is that there is another option: a collaborative method divorce.
Similarly to a standard divorce, a collaborative method divorce starts with each spouse choosing his or her own attorney. Rather than meeting independently, however, a collaborative method divorce sees all four individuals meeting and working together to develop a fair and legally binding separation agreement. Because the key to this process is a calm and rational discussion, it is important for each party to choose a collaboratively trained attorney (see http://www.collaborativepracticeoregon.com )who will work in the spirit of mediation and interest based discussion rather than one with the typical aggressive and positional courtroom approach. The couple and their respective attorneys may need to meet several times over the course of drafting the agreement, and may also choose to bring in experts such as accountants, child specialists, or divorce coaches.
Once everything has been agreed upon collaboratively, the appropriate uncontested divorce papers can be filed with the court. Because all debt, assets, and other outstanding legal issues have been addressed, the case will move swiftly through the court system and the divorce will be granted much more quickly than if the couple had used the litigation path. No court appearances are necessary and no one needs to be served through the collaborative process, keepin the stress at a minimum during this difficult family transition. Both parties will also likely have saved a significant amount of money on an attorney and court fees by pursuing a well-planned, straightforward and collaborative approach that reduces the amount of time spent battling in the courts.
Perhaps the most important benefit of a collaborative method divorce is that both parties will have reached a solution that works for the both of them, and will have done so through an open and honest exchange of opinions and ideas that can leave them in a better position to work together in the future, particularly with regard to co-parenting. Not every family is a good fit for collaboration, so it’s best to have a process consult with a mediator or attorney to help better understand the options available and what the best fit may be for each family’s needs.