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What Is a Collaborative Divorce?

When it comes to a divorce, you may have more options than you think. First, there is the process most people recognize. This is a contested divorce, where all the decisions are made by a court.

However, many people remain unfamiliar with the options in an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree to the divorce, and they choose to avoid trial, making all the necessary decisions together.

You can make any necessary divorce decisions on your own, but this is not recommended. It’s easy to miss certain steps and leave important decisions unresolved.

To solve this problem, many couples attend mediation. This is a process where the couple meets with a mediator, a legal professional who works for both spouses. The mediator helps you negotiate and reach conclusions that benefit everyone.

Yet another option is a collaborative divorce. This is the most involved uncontested divorce process. There are many moving parts, and it may take more time to complete.

Here is a broad overview of how a collaborative divorce works.

Working Together in a Collaborative Divorce

As the name suggests, a collaborative divorce allows all parties to work on the same side. Neither spouse tries to “win” or force the other to do anything. The lawyers working on your case can even recommend one another, as they will be working together as well.

The Process of a Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse secures their own lawyer. They meet with their attorneys individually. This gives allows them to express any concerns or needs freely, without worrying about anyone else listening in.

Once the attorneys have the information they need, all four people meet to negotiate the details of the divorce. Again, this goal is for everyone to work toward the same goals. The attorneys are not trying to get everything they possibly can for just their clients. They are trying to make sure all needs are met in a fair, reasonable way.

Including Others in Your Collaborative Divorce

If you have the time and money, you can include outside experts in your negotiations. For example, you can bring in financial experts. They can review the finances of each spouse and help design a fair, workable spousal support plan. These experts can even help you reach conclusions on property division.

You can also include child psychologists. Divorce is never easy on the children, and you want to make their transition as painless as possible. Mental health experts can give you tips on how to support your kids through the divorce. They can also help you design custody and visitation plans. Their goal is to help you achieve a situation that is best for the children.

Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce

Working together can help you preserve some part of the relationship. It gives you one last project to work on together, without fighting, accusations, or other ugly behavior. Even if you can’t walk away from the divorce as close friends, you may be able to walk away on a positive, amicable note.

A collaborative divorce can also help give you peace of mind. When your divorce is decided in court, you have no power over the outcome. The court makes decisions for you, and you have no choice but to follow what it says. Its rulings may be unfair, and it can make these decisions based on false or misinterpreted information.

A collaborative divorce can help you avoid all this. It gives you authority over your future. It gives you agency over the final decisions in your divorce. Even if you don’t get everything you want, you can still rest easy knowing that you agreed to everything, and no one forced a decision upon you.

Our firm is here to help with your collaborative divorce. For a free consultation, call us today at (412) 281-1988. You may also use our online contact form.

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