My new divorce clients often tell me that their case isn’t suited to Collaborative Law because there is too much conflict and, “they aren’t in agreement.” This illustrates one of the biggest misconceptions about collaborative divorce.
For some reason many people seeking a divorce attorney think collaborative divorce is only for “agreed” divorces. Not so.
The collaborative divorce model takes into account the conflict that is inherent when a marriage ends in divorce. The real difference is that the collaborative divorce gives everyone a “safe place” to work through their emotions and it places an emphasis on problem solving rather than trying to defeat the other spouse in court.
If you must endure a divorce, you owe it to yourself (and your children) to understand collaborative divorce and consider whether collaborative divorce is right for you.
The three defining principles of the collaborative divorce are:
- In collaborative divorce, the parties and their attorneys agree in advance in writing that they will abate all court proceedings
- In collaborative divorce, there is complete transparency. By that, I mean everyone agrees to informally exchange all relevant financial documents and to candidly answer questions about the marriage. This eliminates the need for expensive and time-consuming discovery
- In collaborative divorce, negotiations between divorcing spouses is “interest based” not “positional.” In other words, the focus of the discussions is not on staking out a position but rather is focused on the underlying needs and concerns of each party moving ahead after divorce. By focusing on such needs, divorcing parties and their collaborative divorce attorneys have more latitude to craft creative, personal solutions.