What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative Divorce is a unique non-adversarial process that preserves a working relationship between the parties and reduces the emotional and financial toll of divorce.
What are the benefits of a Collaborative Divorce?
- Faster: Rather than submitting to the time-consuming aspects of litigation, families take part in team meetings that create an effective environment conducive to resolving cases efficiently and usually quicker than traditional Court litigation involving.
- Convenient: Litigation involves court appearances during regular work and business hours; requiring parties to be at the mercy of the Judge’s schedule and availability. The Collaborative Process offers parties more control and can better accommodate families’ needs and preferences.
- Less Expensive: A Collaborative Divorce eliminates the need for a long, and at times, vexatious litigation process, ultimately saving families money.
- Reduced Stress: The collaborative process affords families the opportunity to choose a more holistic approach to resolving their case. One that not only provides families with more control over every aspect of their case but also affords families peace of mind.
Which professionals are involved in a Collaborative Divorce?
In most instances, there are other neutral “team members” such as accountants, financial advisers, and/or mental health professionals. The “team” schedules meetings with all parties present.
Prior to each team meeting, an agenda is prepared for the “team” to effectively address and resolve the issues scheduled for discussion during a particular meeting. While this is a less time-consuming option to litigation, it is nonetheless a process and therefore the parties should be prepared to have several “team meetings” as necessitated by their family’s circumstances.
How can I get started with the Collaborative Divorce process?
- Consensus: Both parties must agree to use the collaborative process.
- Representation: One attorney cannot represent both parties. Each party must be represented by their own counsel. Parties should research and hire a collaboratively trained attorney to represent them in their case.
- Sign an agreement: All parties must sign a written participation agreement before the process begins stating each client’s intent to resolve the dissolution through the collaborative process, each party’s acceptance that they shall make timely, full and candid informal disclosure of information without formal discovery and their understanding that if either party initiates a proceeding in court, the process shall terminate, and the attorneys involved cannot continue their representation.
What happens once the parties have reached an agreement?
Once all the issues in the case have been resolved concluding the team meetings, and an agreement has been executed by the parties, the attorneys will proceed with filing the necessary documents with the Court to make the agreement an official Court Order. Not all but some types of cases may require, a short, uncontested 5-minute hearing to officially have the case be finalized.
What if Collaborative Divorce does not work and litigation becomes necessary?
If for some reason the collaborative process “breaks down” and litigation becomes the only alternative, the collaborative attorney must withdraw from representing his/her client. The parties will either need to retain a new attorney, or the client can represent his/herself.
How can Evan H. Baron & Associates help you?
The mental gymnastics required when considering all aspects and potential consequences of a divorce are physically and emotionally draining for anyone.
The attorneys at Evan H. Baron & Associates have gone through extensive additional training in the Collaborative Divorce Process. This training greatly improves the success rate, making us highly qualified to assist anyone interested in this option. If you or anyone you know is interested in the collaborative process and would like more information on how to get started, please contact our office.