Collaborative divorce can be an excellent option for parties who wish to reach an amicable resolution of their matter outside of court. In collaborative cases, both parties and their attorneys, who must be trained in collaborative law, sign a collaborative participation agreement in which all participants agree not to go to court on any matter until final resolution of all contested issues. Collaborative divorce takes a holistic approach to divorce recognizing that divorce involves legal, financial and emotional aspects. To address each of those areas, the parties and their collaborative attorneys work with mental health professionals and financial professionals, as needed, to achieve each party’s goals.
The center of collaborative divorce is the goal to preserve the family at the end of the divorce process. If the parties have children, the children are of paramount importance in this process and both parties commit to learning co-parenting and communication skills as a family unit after the divorce. All professionals involved focus on both parties’ financial stability following the divorce with a goal of reaching a fair resolution that meets both parties’ needs. Collaborative divorce requires full disclosure by both parties as to their assets and income. All discussions in the collaborative process are confidential and this confidentiality applies to any experts that are involved in your case. The confidential nature of the process allows parties to maintain their privacy throughout the divorce.
Collaborative divorce may be preferable to mediation in some cases because the issues in your case may be too complex to address with mediation or because one side is uncomfortable negotiating directly with their spouse in mediation without the presence of counsel. Because both parties have attorneys in the collaborative process, each party has an advocate who is there to protect that party’s interests. In the event someone terminates the process to commence litigation, all professionals – attorneys, accountants, mental health professionals, etc. – must withdraw from the case and the parties must start over with new professionals. This preserves the confidentiality of the process and motivates the participants to reach a settlement in the process rather than start over.
If you are interested in learning more about collaborative divorce, Tonneman & Connors, LLC is ready to help – contact us today.