Collaborative divorce is increasingly popular for a number of reasons. However, many couples know more about divorce litigation than a collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is, in actuality much less intimidating than divorce litigation most of the time. Read on to learn all about collaborative divorce and its benefits.
Why Should I Go Through A Collaborative Divorce?
Divorce proceedings are expensive, and for many people that expense is not worth it in the end. Settlement and mediation is much cheaper than actually going through the litigation process.
In divorce proceedings, legal experts refer to the process of sharing information between spouses as discovery. A mediation expedites the discovery process, which in turns quickens the overall pace.
Generally, couples find more satisfaction after a collaborative divorce settlement. The decisions are out of the hands of the judge and into the hands of the couple themselves. This involvement results in both people feeling like they won. This feeling is because compromises benefit both ex-spouses rather than one or the other.
The Process, Step-By-Step
Retain Legal Representation
While it is not legally required that the divorcees acquire attorneys, it is generally considered a good idea. A divorce attorney protects your rights throughout the entire divorce process. Additionally, their legal expertise helps guide decisions during the compromise process.
Decide What You Want
It is time to communicate what you want to your attorney. Collaborative divorce is a voluntary process, so both parties must communicate that they want to go through it. Then, tell your legal representation the absolute ideal way that the divorce settlement would end for you. Follow up with where you are willing to compromise, and which points to stick firm on.
For example, you may be fine with having Christmas Eve while your ex-spouse has Christmas Day. However, in return, you get the kids for two thirds of summer break.
The Initial Meeting
In the first meeting, the two legal representatives draw up a collaborative divorce framework. Additionally, the two spouses sign a collaborative divorce participation agreement. This agreement simply says that everyone agreed to the process voluntarily and enumerates the issues to be resolved in mediation. The document also lists the documents and information that needs to be reviewed during the discovery process.
Mediation is where the couple makes deals. During mediation, the couple moves through all of the issues brought up in the divorce. Once all of the compromises are reached, the attorneys create an official document listing all of them. Those stipulations are then submitted to the court and decides whether or not to adopt the agreement. A majority of the time, the court adopts the signed agreement unless they believe there are serious issues. Once the court approves the terms and conditions, they become binding and legally enforceable.