What is collaborative divorce, and is it right for you?

Pennsylvania estranged couples who are seeking a divorce have options. If you prefer to avoid going to court, collaborative divorce might be the right method for ending your marriage.

What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce is an alternative means of getting a divorce. Unlike a traditional divorce that takes place in a courtroom in front of a judge, with collaborative divorce, you and your spouse meet together with your respective attorneys who help you through the process.

How does collaborative divorce work?

Collaborative divorce works by allowing spouses to work together along with certain professional specialists based on the issues of concern within your divorce. For example, if you and your spouse are having difficulty agreeing on child custody, a child custody specialist might be brought in to assist you.

You and your spouse must be willing to work together to negotiate the divorce terms. Together, you come up with a solution for matters of concern and decide on a settlement that works for you. However, collaborative divorce isn’t the same as mediation. Instead, it’s considered alternative dispute resolution that can lead to appearing in front of a judge if you’re unsuccessful in coming to an agreement.

You and your spouse each meet privately with your attorneys to explain what you want out of the divorce. This should include all matters of concern such as property division, child support and custody, visitation, spousal support and more. Afterward, you all meet to discuss everything. This is when specialists may be brought in to help.

If you cannot come to an agreement on everything, your attorneys are required to withdraw from the case if you and your spouse go to litigation. However, many couples are able to reach an agreement and stick with the “no court” agreement they’re required to sign before the collaborative process.

If you and your spouse are willing to negotiate and work together, collaborative divorce might be the right option for you.