You may be suitable for a collaborative divorce if you seek:
- A dignified approach to handling your divorce
- A fair and non-aggressive resolution of issues based on the best interests of the family, not the individual
- Guidance, support and advice on legal issues without the threat of fighting in court.
- A chance to work through emotions and avoid misunderstandings to arrive at sound decisions
- To avoid the cost and emotional strain of court proceedings
- To keep your dispute and terms of your settlement confidential
How do I kick start the process?
Contact a collaborative divorce lawyer. You must choose a lawyer trained in collaborative family law for the process to be effective. An experienced lawyer knows about the required documentation that can make process hassle free.
What happens when we reach agreement?
After you reach agreement, your lawyer can prepare divorce papers that the court is likely to approve.
What happens if the process breaks down?
You may explore other options such as mediation to avoid from going to court. However, if you do take your case to court, your collaborative lawyer cannot act on your behalf in court proceedings as they have signed an undertaking not to litigate.
What is the difference between the collaborative divorce process and court litigation?
Collaborative divorce is a voluntary process that gives divorcing parties control over the process, including the timetable. On the other hand, the litigation process is controlled by the judge and determined by court dates, and parties must comply with the court’s orders. Divorce Lawyers will facilitate direct negotiations between parties in collaborative divorce, working towards a common goal that is in the best interests of both parties and the family, and parties will be encouraged to consider short- and long-term impacts of their decisions. In litigation, both parties and lawyers are pitted against each other, and parties will bargain based on their own needs and rights. They will not be actively asked to think about the short- and long-term effects of their choices.
As can be seen, collaborative divorce allows the parties, instead of the judge, to make the final decisions. Due to this, however, there is no guaranteed settlement in collaborative divorce. If parties cannot reach a final decision, they will need to proceed with litigation. The process of collaborative divorce is confidential, but if parties enter into litigation, the records of Court proceedings will be publicly available.