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What is a collaborative divorce, and is it right for you?

November 7, 2017
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collaborative divorceIf you are going through a divorce, you may think that the only option available is a costly, stressful, and time-consuming court battle. You know – the type you always see playing out on TV dramas. However, the good news is that there are effective alternatives to public court proceedings – including collaborative divorce – in which both parties work with attorneys specializing in this field, to negotiate a settlement agreement outside of the courtroom that is in the best interest of both parties.

What is collaborative divorce?

Instead of focusing on a winner versus loser mentality, collaborative divorce focuses on troubleshooting and problem solving to find win-win solutions through negotiations with trained professionals outside of the court system to settle a divorce.

How does it work?

In collaborative divorce proceedings, each party hires their own specially trained collaborative attorney. Each party meets privately with their own attorney to discuss what they want the outcome of the proceedings to be, keeping in mind that compromise will be essential to reaching a collaborative settlement that works for both parties.

The divorcing spouses then come together regularly to negotiate the details of the divorce including child support, child custody, property division, and other issues that need to be decided upon. Oftentimes other outside professionals are brought in to assist in the negotiations, including neutral financial advisors or child custody specialists.

What if you can’t agree on a settlement?

Typically in collaborative divorce proceedings, each spouse and their attorney sign an agreement that requires both attorneys to withdraw from the divorce case if a settlement cannot be agreed upon. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the attorneys to ensure the process goes smoothly and does not end up in a courtroom battle. However, if for some reason you and your spouse cannot reach an amicable agreement on your divorce settlement, you can start the divorce process again in court.

Sometimes the collaborative divorce process goes smoothly, except for one specific issue of contention that the divorcing parties cannot come to an agreement on. If this is the case, the parties can keep the rest of the settlement negotiations intact and turn to a judge or a mediator to resolve the issue that they cannot reach a settlement for.

The many benefits of collaborative divorce

There are a variety of benefits of opting for a collaborative divorce instead of traditional courtroom proceedings. Some of these include:

  • Divorce proceedings are kept private
  • Saves money
  • Takes less time than traditional court proceedings
  • Maintains civility between both parties
  • Has more emotional support
  • Informal
  • Allows each party to negotiate on important matters

Is collaborative divorce right for you?

The key to a collaborative divorce is that both parties are willing to compromise and negotiate a mutually-beneficial settlement agreement. If one of both parties are not willing to negotiate, then collaborative divorce proceedings may prove futile.

Does it sound like collaborative divorce may be a good fit for your family? If you are going through a divorce in Tennessee and are interested in learning more about the many reasons to opt for a collaborative divorce that benefits all parties involved, contact the family law experts at Ken Phillips Law today to learn more.

Ken Phillips
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