If you are contemplating filing for divorce in Pennsylvania, you may believe that you have to solve everything through the court and that the judge’s decision is everything you need to abide by to end your marriage. Not so. If you can amicably work things out with your ex, or if you want to save money and time during your split, a collaborative divorce may be the thing for you. Here’s how it works.
What is collaborative divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a process in which both spouses work together with their attorneys to negotiate and reach an acceptable agreement for both sides. It differs from the traditional litigation-based divorce process, in which each spouse hires an attorney to represent them and fight against the other side in court.
How does collaborative divorce work?
The collaborative divorce process begins when both spouses sign a contract agreeing to work together to reach a settlement. Then, the attorneys and their clients will meet to discuss the issues in the case and try to reach an agreement. If an agreement is reached, both spouses will sign and have it in writing. If an agreement cannot be reached, the attorneys will return to their clients and help them decide whether to proceed with litigation or try to reach a settlement through mediation.
Whatever the case, you should know that you don’t have to agree with everything your ex says. You have your rights, and your partner must respect what you want as much you respect theirs. Remember, the aim of this process is to come up with solutions that you are all comfortable with.
How to prepare for collaborative divorce?
If you are considering a collaborative divorce, first, be sure to talk to your spouse and let them know that you are interested in exploring this option. Second, consult with an attorney experienced in collaborative law to learn more about how it works and whether it would be a good fit for your situation. Finally, be open to negotiation and be willing to compromise to reach a settlement acceptable to both sides.
Collaborative divorce is significantly less expensive, less stressful, more private, and often results in a more amicable relationship between the spouses. If you can make it work, you should consider exploring this route.