Are you thinking about divorced but are stressed out by the thought of going to court and airing every little detail of your home life in front of a judge who doesn’t know you? It’s completely understandable if you are feeling that way. In addition to feeling embarrassed, many people going through divorce simply feel uncomfortable leaving such sensitive matters such as child custody in the hands of a judge who only knows them as a result of the evidence presented to him or her. The good news is that you may be able to avoid this route.
What you should know about collaborative divorce
One way to do so is to utilize collaborative divorce. Here, each party and their attorney work together with other professionals, such as child custody specialists and financial experts, to hash out a resolution that is fair for everyone involved. The process is meant to be amicable, which many people find comforting. But there are other benefits to collaborative divorce, too. Consider the following:
- Collaborative divorce saves time: The family courts are backed up, meaning you might not have your divorce issues settled by a judge for many months, if not longer. By pursuing collaborative divorce, you and your spouse may be able to resolve matters expeditiously. This can allow you to put this oftentimes emotional and stressful chapter of your life behind you much quicker, thereby allowing you to focus on what comes next.
- Collaborative divorce may be less expensive: By working together with your spouse and other professionals, you reduce the amount of time you have to spend in court arguing over every small detail of your divorce. This can save you a significant amount of money, which might help you as you move onto the next chapter of your life.
- Collaborative divorce is informal: Taking a matter to court is often about jockeying for position and sometimes using legal tactics to your advantage. Sometimes this can take your focus off of the issues that truly matter to you. Collaborative divorce, on the other hand, fosters an open and honest dialogue so that important decisions can be made with all of the information available to the parties. This can be beneficial for you, your spouse, your children, and everyone’s relationship with each other moving forward.
- Collaborative divorce gives you control: You and your spouse can not only control how the collaborative divorce process plays out, but you can also set the terms for any post-divorce modifications. This gives you and your spouse a lot of flexibility to find a resolution that works for both of you.
- Collaborative divorce doesn’t mean no-conflict: While the idea of a collaborative divorce is that you’ll work together with your spouse to resolve any legal issues, it is inevitable that you’ll probably have disagreements over certain matters. When this happens, you don’t have to jump into court. Instead, collaborative divorce allows you to adapt to address the issue. You can choose to bring in a mediator to help you resolve the matter, or you can continue to seek out expert advise and guidance from professionals whom you choose to fold into the process.
Divorce is often portrayed as an all out fight between spouses with each vying for property and sole child custody. This doesn’t have to be your divorce, though. Instead, you can choose a path that is less confrontational and less stressful.
With that being said, you shouldn’t simply walk into one of these divorces unprepared. You still need to be ready to represent your interests so that you’re not taken advantage of by your spouse. You need to do your homework on professionals you want to be a part of the process, and you need to know where you stand financially before engaging in discussions. Have a plan. Have a strategy. Know what you need and what you want and where your spouse is and isn’t willing to give. To be as prepared as possible, and therefore ensure the smoothest collaborative divorce possible, you might want to consider working with a legal professional who is experienced in this field.