Couples who know their marriage is over but don’t want to go into battle during a divorce often feel at odds with what to do. They don’t hate their spouse and don’t want to deplete them of all their finances just to end their relationship, but that’s often how divorce is depicted.
Thankfully, there are options available. Collaborative divorce can allow couples to come to agreements peacefully and achieve positive outcomes.
What is collaborative divorce?
A collaborative divorce allows both spouses to find solutions for their divorce, and the couple sets the pace for proceedings. They discuss issues such as spousal support, child support and custody, division of property, division of debt and more. Both parties agree to be 100 percent above board regarding all finances and to cooperate in providing financial documentation on income, assets and debts.
Each party is represented by an attorney who helps their client finalize the divorce with their spouse in a peaceful manner. Each party signs a contract agreeing to resolve the divorce without litigation, and often there are other professionals who aid with the proceedings such as financial advisers, therapists and more.
How can collaborative divorce benefit me?
Collaborative divorce is a faster process than divorces that are litigated, so you are able to move on with your life quickly. Over 80 percent of collaborative divorces are finalized in a year or less, and the majority of them take eight months or less.
Because these cases take less time, it is often less expensive for couples. There is more money to go around for each party because you spend less on the divorce.
Collaborative divorces also give each party more control, as your active involvement is key for a collaborative divorce to work. Often, couples who go through these divorces feel less like the process is out of their control than couples who litigate.
These divorces are also generally less contentious, which can be good for your emotional wellbeing. This is especially true for divorcing couples with children who don’t want them to be stuck seeing one parent in a negative light or feel forced to pick sides.
And if you are interested in keeping your divorce details to yourself, collaborative divorce is beneficial: The majority of these cases can be kept confidential, compared to litigated divorces that are a matter of public record.
Collaborative divorce isn’t for everyone; if you and your partner are at such odds that you think working together is impossible, it’s not worth pursuing. However, if you think you two can collaborate as a team one more time for your post-divorce wellbeing, it may be the best option for you.