While most people might associate the divorce process with contentious hearings and messy litigation, the process does not have to work this way at all. When spouses are able to work through some of their differences together and come to agreements that work for both parties, the process can go much smoother. A collaborative divorce involves a process of spouses working with attorneys to negotiate terms of a divorce together.
At the outset of the divorce, both spouses work with attorneys who are at their side throughout the negotiations. During this process, you will meet separately with your lawyer to discuss strategies and your own goals, and collaboratively with your spouse and his or her attorney to engage in negotiations. Occasionally other professionals may get involved in collaborative divorce negotiations, such as an accountant or a child custody specialist.
Couples that go through a collaborative divorce process typically enter a “no court” agreement, which requires attorneys to back off from the case if they are unable to reach a settlement. You will most likely need to stay in touch with a local family court throughout the process, because you will need to make the divorce official once you have agreed to terms, but it offers a much more hands-off process than standard divorce litigation.
There are numerous benefits associated with a collaborative divorce process. It is significantly cheaper than going through litigation, and takes a great deal less time. It also gives each spouse more control over the terms of the divorce, and gives you the ability to reach compromises that work for each party. It is also more likely to preserve some of the cordiality of your relationship, which is especially important if you have kids.
For more information on the collaborative divorce process, meet with a skilled Jacksonville family law attorney.
Divorce attorney Andrea Jevic contributed to this blog post.