For many people, divorce is seen as an adversarial process where one spouse rises with their hand in the air and the other is ruined. In reality, a highly-contested divorce can leave both spouses feeling deflated.
For this reason, more and more couples are taking a collaborative approach in their divorce proceedings. What are the main reasons to consider this?
Retaining some control
In litigation, you present your case and a judge makes the final ruling, which you must stick to no matter how unfair it seems. While judges are qualified and experienced, you do not know them and they don’t really know you. They only see a snapshot of your entire life and marriage, but their decisions are powerful and under certain circumstances, permanent. When former spouses can work together collaboratively, they are often able to come up with more suitable scenarios that match their specific circumstances. While a judge may try their best to be equitable, they simply do not have the same levels of understanding about your unique family situation. Retaining control over the process is the largest benefit of settlement in any form.
Typically, collaborative divorce negotiations are held privately with your collaborative team. Litigated divorces generally become a matter of public interest, which may be very worrisome for you. Keeping your divorce as private as possible can help you and your former spouse cope, as well as limit the damage the divorce does to the children. The collaborative process is a highly child-focused process, allowing you to work with child psychologists or therapists to make parenting plans or custody decisions that work best for your family.
Litigated divorces can take many months or even years to resolve. The collaborative approach is flexible and you and your spouse drive how quickly it moves forward. If you are able to resolve matters expeditiously, then the process is finalized more quickly. If your circumstances are unique and require a slower approach, the process can adapt to that as well. This means that your divorce can cost less in terms of both time and money.
It is also more efficient because there is complete transparency in the process. Both parties commit to full financial disclosure and often work with a single financial expert in order to minimize document duplication. That financial expert helps create realistic budgets and plans for how to divide your assets. Since there is transparency, everyone is looking at the same information, together, when making those decisions.
Before commencing your divorce proceedings, it is worth exploring all of your options. Collaborative law is just one area you may want to consider. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have experienced legal guidance behind you. Several attorneys at Maddox & Gerock are trained in the collaborative process and are experienced in getting family-focused results.