The end of a marriage is a lengthy process with multiple factors that may prove to be complicated. Traditional divorce litigation cases examined in the courtroom can drag on longer than is comfortable for either party. Resentment can quickly build, and so can the fees.

In an effort to dodge the acrimony that often arises in the process of a traditional divorce, many couples have turned to the collaborative process. The goal is to minimize animosity and enhance privacy by promoting problem-solving and collaboration in lieu of a head-to-head courtroom battle.

How can the collaborative process benefit me?

In a collaborative process, both you and your spouse will retain a lawyer trained in collaborative law. With the help of your attorneys, you will determine if you should also hire any neutral experts, such as a family relations specialist or a financial specialist. You, your spouse, the attorneys, and your neutral experts will work through issues to help you and your spouse resolve your marriage. This process occurs completely out of court until you and your spouse come to an agreement. This agreement is submitted to the court, where it will become a legally enforceable document.

Here are some scenarios where the collaborative process may be especially beneficial:

  1. Money is tight. Attorney and courtroom fees tend to be slightly lower within the collaborative process, although this is not always true and depends on the issues at hand. The lack of litigation does make the collaborative process a potentially more affordable option for those wishing to spend less money on the termination of their marriage.
  2. It’s difficult to make time in your schedule to attend court. Whether it’s because of your work schedules, children, or medical issues, court often isn’t very forgiving when it comes to scheduling. The collaborative process allows more flexibility.
  3. You want more privacy. By settling your matter outside of the courtroom, you maintain more discretion than a traditional divorce process would allow.
  4. You need help managing the logistics of life post-termination of your marriage. The experts you choose to bring into the collaborative process will provide insight about how to navigate issues such as financial planning, co-parenting, and mental health management.
  5. You’re prone to higher levels of stress and conflict. The collaborative process promotes a more in-depth examination of some of the most common sources of animosity.

The Collaborative Process can bring peace of mind and reduce overall stress when guided by attorneys who are experienced in collaborative law. Whether you need to look out for your finances, your peace of mind, or your future circumstances, it’s worth it to consider taking this less traditional route.