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How does collaborative divorce work?

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 at 8:45 pm    

The collaborative divorce process seeks to take the antagonistic and combative side of divorce out of the equation. When couples enter into the collaborative law process, they use mediation and peaceful negotiations to settle their disagreements, thereby saving money, time and emotional heartache. Unlike other types of divorce mediation proceedings, though, collaborative law is a special methodology in which the lawyer must be trained and certified before he or she can carry out the process on behalf of one’s clients.

Collaborative law divorces follow a step-by-step plan for finalizing settlements and completing the divorce. Before engaging in the process, both spouses must agree to carry out their divorce via collaborative law proceedings. Furthermore, each must obtain his or her own collaborative law attorney for the negotiations. An attorney who tends to be aggressive and combative is not the kind you want if you plan for your proceedings to be successful.

Before the collaborative meetings begin, each party will meet with his or her legal representative separately. During this meeting, spouses will inform their attorneys of what they want, while keeping in mind that compromises could be required. However, it is important at this stage for spouses to tell their attorneys what their limits are.

Next, a four-way meeting between each spouse and his or her respective attorney will take place on multiple occasions. Party neutral professionals, like child psychology experts, accountants and other experts will likely come to some of these meetings to help bring their informed opinions to the proceedings so the parties can reach peaceful accord. A licensed neutral mediator may also play an important role in “keeping the peace.” Finally, the collaborative law process will be considered successful if both parties can reach an out of court settlement.

Remember: a trained collaborative law attorney is necessary to finalize divorce proceedings peacefully and cost effectively via the collaborative law process. In addition, a diplomatic attitude and a willingness to reach agreement and accord will be required by both parties on either side of the divorce.

Source: FindLaw, “How Collaborative Divorce Works: FAQs,” accessed Jan. 19, 2016

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