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A collaborative divorce is a new approach to an amicable separation. Like mediation, it involves the parties meeting to discuss the issues and working out the details of child custody, the division of property and so on prior to filing a petition for divorce. The goal of a collaborative divorce is for the couple to be able to file for an uncontested divorce.
Collaborative Divorce versus Mediation
The difference between a collaborative divorce and mediation is that a collaborative divorce involves more professionals than just a mediator. Often in mediation, there is one mediator who makes suggestions to the parties to help resolve their issues. In a collaborative divorce, both parties are usually represented by divorce lawyers and it is not uncommon for financial professionals, mental health professionals and, if children are involved, a child specialist to be present. The parties can also choose to have just one collaborative lawyer handle the entire procedure.
However, if during the course of the collaborative divorce, the parties cannot come to an agreement, the attorneys may be forced to resign so new attorneys can be appointed for a contested divorce or litigation. It is usually in the best interests of the parties to reach an amicable agreement and avoid litigation.
While a collaborative divorce can be more expensive than mediation, it is better suited for complex division decisions. The parties often feel the presence of professionals enables them to make well-informed decisions when going through a collaborative divorce.
When to Consider a Collaborative Divorce
Parties seeking to reach an agreement without the expense and emotional stress of litigation may choose a collaborative divorce. Collaborative lawyers are also helpful for parties facing a complex division of assets so a compromise can be reached without incurring the expense of litigation. Collaborative divorces are also helpful for parties with children. It allows the parties to make decisions regarding custody and child support instead of a judge.
When you are interested in working toward an amicable divorce but want to ensure your legal rights are protected, ask your lawyer about the collaborative divorce option.
Contact Jake Watson Law
If you’re facing a divorce, or would like to file, call us at 1-877-536-8373 or contact us online. The attorney is licensed to practice law in Alabama and Montana, and he’d appreciate the opportunity to discuss your situation.
To learn more about what he can offer, see our Divorce and Family Law Services.