You and your spouse have decided to get a divorce. There are so many thoughts swirling through your mind and your emotions are all over the place. You’re worried about the kids. There are a lot of decisions to make and you’re not sure where to start.
The first step to take toward divorce is deciding whether you want a collaborative divorce or a traditional one. You’re most likely familiar with traditional divorce. If it moves to litigation, two parties face off against each other in court. Often times it gets ugly, emotionally exhausting and financially draining. It also can become a long, drawn-out process that keeps you tethered to your spouse longer than you want – and the ultimate outcome of your divorce will end up being decided by the judge – a stranger.
If that’s something you want to avoid, a collaborative divorce might be your best option.
What is a collaborative divorce?
A collaborative divorce allows couples to work out the details for themselves, thus avoiding a nasty and costly court battle. Mediation and negotiation are used to settle things as amicably as possible. These are the steps involved:
- Hire an attorney who understands mediation, negotiation and collaborative law.
- Sign a “no court” agreement. This means that you and your spouse will settle things out of court.
- Have a “four-way” meeting with your spouse, his lawyer, your lawyer, and yourself. You will have several of these meetings as you all try to negotiate the divorce terms together.
- File your divorce papers and settlement agreement with the domestic relations court. Since the divorce is uncontested the process should be simple and easy.
The benefits of having a collaborative divorce are plentiful. You will save time and money, your peace of mind can be restored and you will avoid all of the stress of a traditional divorce. When you work with an experienced collaborative divorce attorney, you will walk away knowing that you and your spouse reached the best possible solution together.