Even the most amicable divorce can be stressful and messy. However, just because you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce doesn’t mean that you have to have an all-out brawl in court or through litigation.
A collaborative divorce is one of several options for those looking for a less contentious separation. You can read on about how collaborative divorce works in practice. To learn if collaborative divorce might be right for you, reach out to the Brownsville family law attorneys of the Law Offices of Phillippe and Associates.
What Does Collaborative Divorce Mean?
Collaborative divorce is the process through which couples negotiate all terms of their divorce through mediation and negotiation. Terms will be agreed upon regarding everything from property and debt division to child custody and spousal support.
A collaborative divorce is an option that allows couples to potentially avoid litigation or going to court.
How Long Do Collaborative Divorces Take?
Before you can begin your collaborative divorce, both spouses must be willing to work together to negotiate terms. The process of coming to this understanding is largely up to you, and thus, could take considerable time depending on your situation.
Some courts actually require divorcing couples to attempt mediation prior to litigation.
Once you and your spouse have agreed to a collaborative divorce, both parties will need to hire lawyers with experience in collaborative divorce. An attorney with experience will know techniques for resolving disputes peacefully. That being said, your attorney should also be willing to fight restlessly for your best interests in mind.
After you both acquired representation and have met with your divorce teams, a series of meetings will take place between all of those involved to reach the terms of the divorce.
At this point, you will also agree that litigation may be filed if either party is unsatisfied with the process of the collaborative divorce. The negotiation process will continue until both parties can reach an agreement or until one spouse exits the collaborative divorce.
Is a Collaborative Divorce a Realistic Option?
As mentioned above, a collaborative divorce is really only a viable option if both spouses are willing to commit to the process. Negotiating the separation of a life-time worth of debts and property, not to mention child custody, can be a difficult, time-consuming, and nerve-wracking process. As such, both parties need to be able to work together on some level.
If your relationship with your spouse is violent or particularly contentious, collaboration may not be a realistic option for you.
Even the most friendly divorce can be messy. Still, choosing to go through a collaborative divorce can help you and your spouse save both time and money. It may also make it easier for the two of you to negotiate without interference from a judge.
How Does A Collaborative Divorce Differ from Mediation?
The primary difference between a mediated divorce and a collaborative divorce is attorney involvement. As aforementioned, a collaborative involves at least two attorneys: one for you and one for your spouse. This allows both parties to negotiate using the expertise of a legal advocate.
Mediation, on the other hand, generally only involves one attorney. Through mediation, you and your spouse will work together with a lawyer to reach the terms of your divorce. Mediation may be cheaper and less tedious than collaboration, but it may not be the best decision for those with complex assets, contentious relationships, or child or spousal support disagreements.
Law Offices of Phillippe and Associates: Your Brownsville Family Law Attorneys
If you’re considering a collaborative divorce, you need a compassionate attorney who is willing to fight for your best interests. Attorney Christopher Phillippe would be proud to represent you in negotiations or a court of law.