When many people think of divorce, they picture contentious arguments in a courtroom between former spouses turned bitter rivals. While divorce is a stressful and emotional life event, it doesn’t have to be one that comes to blows.
In divorce, cooperation will typically give couples a better result for both parties than litigating ever will. Couples can cooperate by engaging in what is called a collaborative divorce.
Instead of a courtroom setting, collaborative divorce brings the process into a troubleshooting and problem-solving environment, where couples are encouraged to negotiate and practice mediation to settle their disagreements.
This informal setting is intended to create an information exchange that is open and honest about the differences couples have and their potentially conflicting wants and needs from the divorce. Compromise is the goal, giving both parties the chance to walk away with positive results for their post-divorce life. Parties can discuss ahead of time how they want to handle any potential post-settlement disputes, which can prevent future arguments.
There are many benefits to a collaborative divorce. In addition to the emotional heartache of a length divorce process it can avoid, it is more cost-effective and usually faster than litigating a divorce. And for couples with children, it can be beneficial for your children to see their divorcing parents continuing to work together with mutual respect, even when the marriage ends.
Collaborative divorce is ultimately dependent upon two factors: the divorcing parties. Without two willing participants, a collaborative divorce is not possible. However, if both parties are amenable, it can be a positive outcome for everyone. Discuss collaborative divorce with a divorce attorney to determine if it’s the best option for you and what exactly you would want out of the divorce before you begin proceedings.