How Does a Collaborative Divorce Work?

People who find themselves needing to get divorced might seek a way to keep this unpleasant process as civilized as possible. Particularly if they have children to raise, people going through a divorce might want to find a way to separate their lives without hating each other. Collaborative divorce can provide a way to resolve disputes without a bitter, expensive court battle.

North Carolina family law attorneys can guide you through the process of getting a collaborative divorce. Also, they can answer your questions, like how does a collaborative divorce work?

An Overview of Collaborative Divorce

In traditional litigation, people are adversaries who fight until there is a winner. That is why they call litigation an adversarial process. In a truly non-contested divorce, on the other hand, there are no disagreements about any of the terms of the dissolution of marriage. People in this situation merely need someone to draft the required court papers and walk the case through court.

People who are good candidates for a collaborative divorce fall somewhere between these two points of adversarial and non-contested cases. They have some items to work out, but they prefer to be amicable when negotiating these issues. Parties to a collaborative divorce agree not to engage in adversarial litigation. 

If one of the parties breaks the promise and files for divorce before all the issues are resolved, the attorneys for both parties must withdraw from representation, and both parties have to get new attorneys. Collaborative divorce uses mediation and negotiation to try to resolve the disputes that stand in the way of wrapping up the divorce. Often, the parties to a collaborative divorce save money on legal fees by avoiding expensive court battles. 

The parties meet in an informal setting rather than in a courtroom. Some of the meetings are between only a spouse and that person’s lawyer. Sometimes, all four people meet together – both parties and both attorneys. The goal is to resolve all the issues to the point at which the parties now have a non-contested divorce.

Additional Professionals Used in Collaborative Divorces

The circumstances of the individual divorce will determine if you need any additional professionals to provide information that can help resolve disputes in a collaborative divorce. For example, if you have complicated investments or disagree about how to apportion the retirement accounts, it could be helpful to have the input of an accountant. 

If you are trying to distribute assets that include an ownership interest in a business, it could help to use a business valuation expert. The additional professionals must be neutral third parties. They should not be biased in favor of either party. Their purpose is to provide expert information that could help the parties reach a fair settlement. 

How Collaborative Divorce Puts You in Control of Your Life

When a contested case goes to trial, the judge gets to decide what terms go into your divorce decree. In other words, a total stranger decides your future and the future of your children. Collaborative divorce offers a way to have control over your future instead of having to leave it in the hands of a total stranger.

North Carolina family law attorneys can help you with your divorce, whether it is a non-contested, traditional, or collaborative divorce. If you find yourself facing divorce, get in touch with our office for a free consultation.