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Collaborative Divorce

How Collaborative Divorce works and its benefits.

collaborative_divorce-300x199The Collaborative Divorce process focuses on finding solutions for the two parties. Through a series of meetings, both parties make decisions, guided by their attorneys, to the best ways of moving forward as single persons.

There is no judge involved. And because decisions are made between the parties, all details are kept out of the court system and are private.

In addition to each party having attorneys, a neutral mental health professional and a neutral financial professional are also part of the team. In some instances, other professionals, such as a child specialist or an appraiser can be brought in to assist the team.

The mental health professional keeps the process moving forward and attends to the emotional needs of each spouse. The financial neutral acquires information from each party. This professional then assists to establish the financial needs of each party and helps them develops a plan for the division of their property.

Collaborative Divorce only works if there is understanding and civility between the parties. Yes, divorce is an emotional roller coaster. There can be high and low points. But civility to work things out is key to this process being successful.

Contact us to see if a Collaborative Divorce works for your situation.

Does a Collaborative Divorce cost more than a litigated divorce?

A Collaborative Divorce isn’t for all parties. You must have the resources for the professionals’ who help you through the process.

At the outset, a Collaborative Divorce has more fees than a litigated one. This is because of the professionals involved.

However, at the end of the process, a Collaborative Divorce usually costs less.

For example: with a $3 million dollar estate (real estate, savings, retirement plan, other property) litigation would likely cost $100,000 to $200,000 and take up to two years to complete. A collaborative divorce would be closer to $60,000 in fees for all the professionals and be settled in three to six months.

Additionally, with Collaborative Divorce there is more legal and emotional support from the team. Remember, as with any divorce, no matter how friendly the spouses, there are always emotional issues that rise to the surface.

Contact us to see if a Collaborative Divorce works for your situation.

What is a mediated divorce?

Mediation can take place any time in a litigated case, before any discovery occurs or just before trial.

In mediation, the parties have their own attorneys and they prepare the case with the possibility of taking the matter to a final hearing in court. At some point, the parties can agree to have a mediator (usually an attorney) meet with them to work on any remaining unresolved issues.

There is a key difference between Mediated Divorce and Collaborative Divorce.

In a Mediated Divorce the parties go to the mediator’s office on a specific day, usually just for a few hours. They are put, with their attorneys, in separate conference rooms and the mediator shuttles back and forth collecting information and trying to work out a settlement.

In Collaborative Divorce, everybody works together as a team. Both spouses have input and can react to the issue being discussed. The purpose is to get all issues in the open so that the team can work together for a resolution.

Mediation is very effective, having a success rate of about 75%, and allows the parties to make the decisions as to the outcome of their case as opposed to a judge. If the mediation fails, the parties can continue on to have their case decided by a judge.

Keep in mind that, in mediation, you will be paying for your attorney’s time plus one-half of the mediator’s time, so a four-hour mediation could cost each party about $1,400. However, to put that in perspective, the parties make their own decisions, not the judge. Also, preparing for and having a court hearing can take many, many hours and have very uncertain results.

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