Is the collaborative law approach right for your divorce?

You have accepted your marriage is no longer working, and you want to move forward with your life. Though you know a divorce is the next step, you and your soon-to-be ex want to avoid as much conflict and pain as possible.

You just are not sure the best way to go about that. One option you may consider is a collaborative law divorce.

Collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It keeps your divorce out of the courtroom and encourages former spouses to work together to reach amicable resolutions. In a collaborative law divorce, you and your former partner are each represented by an attorney. At the outset, you sign a contract stating that if you do not resolve your issues, you must retain new attorneys to pursue litigation. By signing this agreement, all parties are encouraged to work together to settle the issues of a divorce

Encourages compromise and communication

During the process, you and your attorney meet regularly with your ex and his or her attorney. You discuss issues like property division, child custody and spousal support. Attorneys trained in collaborative law focus on minimizing conflict and encouraging communication between former spouses. You and your former partner will negotiate and compromise on the terms of your divorce.

Settling conflicts together and learning effective communication strategies makes the process much less adversarial. It also gives you important skills that will prove helpful, if you and your ex share children and will continue to co-parent.

Can bring in experts to settle issues fairly

If there are financial concerns or questions regarding custody, tax accountants, financial planners or parenting coaches can be brought in to help with decision-making. Sometimes, mediators are used to settle particularly tough issues.

Process is quicker and less expensive

A collaborative law approach is typically much quicker than settling a divorce before a judge. Since it settles faster, it is usually much less expensive. By keeping it out of the courtroom, it also keeps your divorce proceedings private, so the details of your split do not become a part of the public record.

If you want to settle your divorce quickly, without too much expense and avoid conflict, a collaborative divorce can provide a good alternative.