The Collaborative Divorce Process is unknown to many people, including attorneys and clients alike. If you know that you want to divorce in a way that restructures your family but does not destroy it, the collaborative process may be the right one for you. But, you may wonder, what does the process entail? Here are the primary aspects of the roadmap to a collaborative divorce:
- Phase One: Sign on to the process and assemble the team
- Phase Two: Communicate and gather information regarding children and finances
- Phase Three: Brainstorm and develop options
- Phase Four: Evaluate options and reach agreements
- Phase Five: Finalize and implement the plan
Compare the above process to a typical roadmap of a traditional litigated divorce:
- Phase One: Hire an aggressive divorce attorney
- Phase Two: Divorce attorney files a Complaint for Divorce against the other spouse, and the other spouse’s attorney then files a Counterclaim for Divorce
- Phase Three: Divorce attorneys conduct expensive discovery (exchange of information) over the course of several months
- Phase Four: Divorce attorneys prepare for trial at great financial cost, focusing on attacking the character and behaviors of the other spouse
- Phase Five: Clients and attorneys go to trial, focusing on negative attacks against one another, and the clients must live with the court’s final ruling
When comparing the two processes, one should question why anyone would choose the tradition litigated divorce over the collaborative process. Both processes cost money and both end in divorce, but the path followed in collaborative divorce allows the family to maintain control and civility, rather than the litigation path which is negative, destructive, and hands complete control over your lives to the court.
Batchelder Law & Mediation, LLC provides client representation for the collaborative divorce process, as well as mediation and other out-of-court solutions for separating and divorcing families. Contact us if this is the path that makes sense for you and your family.