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If Collaborative Divorce Fails

If Collaborative Divorce Fails

Divorce can be an emotionally-draining and demoralizing experience, much more the process to resolve it, especially, if it ends up in a family court room. This type of divorce process, called litigated or contested divorce, which is the traditional way of settling divorce and divorce-related issues (such as child custody, visitation rights, child support, alimony or spousal support, and division of marital properties, assets and debts), is heard in a courtroom and, therefore, open to anyone who wishes to witness it. Besides making divorcing couples destroy and hate each, a contested divorce is also sure to leave them with huge legal fees (court fee, attorneys’ fees and expert fees).

The many inconveniences and negative effects of contested divorce are major factors that have caused spouses to reconsider going to court to settle their divorce. These same factors have also led spouses to consider and find alternative ways through which they can settle their divorce and other issues in ways that are faster, much cheaper and more peaceful. Good for them there are now new methods available in setting divorce and all divorce-related issues faster, peacefully, and without spending as much time as one will spend in a court-settled divorce. These methods include: Uncontested divorce; Divorce mediation; and Collaborative divorce.

“Collaborative divorce,” as explained in the website of The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, “can be the best route to take for former spouses whose points of view on issues pertaining to divorce—such as child custody, visitation rights, and asset division—are neither in complete accord nor high conflict. While the relationship of divorcing couples can be characterized by anything from utmost civility to adversarial strife, many couples fall in the middle of the spectrum. Some former couples simply need help and advice in coming to a decision that would benefit both parties. Rather than having decisions finalized by an objective third party, couples in a collaborative divorce can openly discuss and negotiate their issues with the assistance of two appointed attorneys. The process allows couples to reach stable end negotiations without having to take the case to trial.”

In a collaborative divorce, the spouses are given the chance to settle their differences and finalize their divorce with the help of professionals, like an accountant, a child custody specialist, and others, if necessary. Both spouses will need to meet with their own collaborative divorce attorneys, while meeting with their former spouse and his/her attorney. The four of them will work together to settle their divorce without resorting to litigation. A collaborative divorce offers spouses the following benefits:

  • Expediency of the divorce case;
  • More control over the outcome;
  • Less stress and anxiety; and,
  • Lesser costs compared to the traditional divorce process

At the outset of the collaborative divorce process, the spouses and their lawyers enter into what is called a “Participation Agreement.” This agreement states that, in the event that the collaborative process fails, then the spouses will have to hire new attorneys, who will have to file their divorce case in court.