The Six Parameters of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a legal process designed to help a divorcing couple reach an out-of-court settlement in which they agree on all issues relating to children, property and finances. As with any process, there are parameters—or cornerstones—on which the system depends. In order to be an effective, peaceful and dignified way for each spouse to reach their goals, collaborative divorce depends on six parameters.

Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You and Your Spouse?

If your marriage—and therefore, your divorce—includes allegations of child abuse, substance abuse or domestic violence, collaborative divorce may not be appropriate. However, for divorcing couples who are willing to commit to a process that can be less expensive, less stressful and, in the long run, a sane and peaceful way to dissolve a marriage, collaborative divorce offers many benefits.

How You Can Have a Peaceful Divorce

Divorce doesn’t have to be a vicious war where the battlefield is a courtroom. Instead, it can be a negotiated settlement conducted in an informal, more relaxed setting. In this scenario, reaching goals is more important than assigning blame and both the financial and emotional costs are much lower.

Five Simple Things NOT to Do During Your Collaborative Divorce in California

Even in a collaborative divorce—which, by definition, is one in which both spouses seek to reach consensus through negotiation rather than litigation—it can be easy to do things that may undermine the process. If you have chosen the collaborative route, you did so because it was emotionally and potentially financially less costly and creates far less stress than a contested court battle, especially when children are involved.

Why Collaborative Divorce Works

Although going through a divorce is never pleasant, it is also true that when you and your spouse work cooperatively the outcome is likely to be the best possible for both of you. That’s what collaborative divorce is all about: discussion instead of altercation and negotiation instead of argumentation.

What is the Collaborative Divorce Process Like?

Collaborative divorce is a hands-on approach that has gained popularity in recent years. The first step is finding an attorney who is trained/experienced with collaborative divorces. Each party must be represented by a collaborative law attorney. The parties will first meet separately with their attorney to gather and discuss pertinent background information. If the couple agrees to enter the collaborative process, then the parties will work with one another to assemble the collaborative team.

Understanding How Collaborative Divorce Works

The divorce process can get very complicated very quickly. You must be able to manage all of your court dates, paperwork and various processes. Even straightforward divorces with little conflict will involve a lot of paperwork. The more conflict that exists in a divorce, the more likely it is you will need a full trial. Most people, however, have only a moderate level of conflict to deal with during their divorce. In these situations, a collaborative divorce could be the best path. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses work outside of the courtroom setting to negotiate the terms of their divorce. Doing so can help you save time and money while benefiting from an open and honest exchange of information in a more informal setting. You are able to decide how to handle any disputes that arise after your settlement and have much more control regarding your ability to negotiate a result that works for you.