There are a lot of ways to end your marriage. One way is through the traditional divorce litigation. Another is through mediation, which takes the couple out of the courtroom and allows them to work with a neutral third party to develop a satisfying divorce settlement. A third option is collaborative divorce. This option, like mediation, takes place outside the courtroom. Unlike mediation, the process of determining the terms of the couple’s divorce does not involve a third party. With collaborative divorce, the couple works together to determine their divorce settlement, then files the settlement with the court.
Collaborative divorce can be an attractive option for couples who had fairly amicable relationships. Indeed, it can be. But there are also cases where collaborative divorce is not the best option. Before you decide to divorce through collaborative law, discuss your options with your attorney. He or she can provide you with valuable insight to the various methods of divorcing and which is best for you, depending on your individual circumstances.
When a couple opts for collaborative divorce, each spouse works with his or her own attorney. Both spouses and their attorneys then schedule and complete a series of meetings, during which they determine all necessary issues in their divorce and retain experts where needed such as financial advisors, mortgage advisors and accountants. All parties sign a participation agreement promising to try to settle differences in a non-adversarial manner. These issues can include property division, spousal support, child visitation and custody, and any other issues that the couple wants to record in their divorce settlement. Once the couple reaches a settlement, their attorneys file the divorce with the court and it can be finalized.
Collaborative divorce is much less expensive that litigation. There are no court appearances and much fewer meetings with attorneys. In addition to the lower cost, collaborative divorce allows divorcing couples to work together to reach a settlement, rather than have one determined for them by the court. Couples who choose collaborative divorce often report higher levels of satisfaction with their divorces than those who divorce through litigation.
But collaborative divorce is not the right option for every couple. When there is a significant imbalance of financial power between the spouses, when there is a history of domestic abuse, or when one partner suspects his or her partner could be hiding assets, a productive collaborative divorce is not possible.
Learn more about collaborative divorce and other divorce methods before you decide which type is right for you. You can do this during your legal consultation with The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. Call our firm today at (732) 365-3299 to schedule your appointment with a member of our firm. We can answer any questions you have and represent your case during the divorce process, no matter which method you choose. Do not wait to seek legal representation for your divorce case. We proudly serve clients in Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, and Burlington counties.