What is a Collaborative Divorce?
January 14th, 2019 by McNeely | Stephenson
For many, the process of going through a divorce is one of the most difficult times in life. Things can be further complicated when divorcing spouses encounter disputes about child custody, division of assets, and other terms of the separation.
Fortunately, much of the stress and drama of a separation can be avoided by going through the process of a collaborative divorce.
How Does a Collaborative Divorce Work?
In Indiana, a collaborative divorce refers to one where both parties work with their own attorneys and meet regularly to reach agreements on various aspects of the separation itself. Ultimately, the goal of a collaborative divorce is to iron out differences and avoid needing to go to court over these issues. As a result, the entire process can be expedited, and both parties are able to move forward as quickly as possible.
Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce
There are many benefits to going through a collaborative divorce, including the fact that it tends to be a much faster and smoother process without litigation and disputes. A collaborative divorce may also be less expensive than a “typical” divorce, since both parties are in greater agreement and fewer appearances in court may be needed to finalize the separation.
Of course, a collaborative divorce can be beneficial in non-financial or practical ways. From an emotional standpoint, a collaborative divorce is much easier on both parties, as well as any shared children or family members. This also allows you to negotiate a fair separation agreement that works for both you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. Collaborative divorce also saves a lot of time and energy when it comes to attending court hearings and arguing. Ultimately, everybody wins when a collaborative divorce is reached.
Is a Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
While a collaborative divorce may not be possible in all situations, it is something that should at least be strived for in most cases. There are many specific signs that could indicate a collaborative divorce is the right route for you.
For starters, if both parties are open to negotiations and compromises on major issues (such as division of assets and child custody), then there is a good chance this will work out. Unfortunately, if one side is stubborn and not willing to “budge” on a certain issue, it is unlikely that a collaborative divorce will be successful.
It’s important to understand that if the collaborative divorce process is unsuccessful and your case is headed to court, both attorneys must withdraw. You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse will both have to find new attorneys to represent you.
The best way to determine whether or not a collaborative divorce is right for you is to speak with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse about the possibility. If he or she seems open to the idea, then it is probably at least worth a try.
Consult With Our Attorneys Today
If you’re going through a divorce, regardless of whether you’re interested in a collaborative effort or not, consulting with a divorce attorney is always a good idea. At McNeely Stephenson, we can provide you with the guidance you need when it comes to child custody and other aspects of legal separation. From there, we can walk you through the process and take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Overall, collaborative divorce is always desirable over a “traditional” and confrontational separation. And while it may not be possible in all situations, it is worth at least considering if you are going through a divorce right now.