Although some divorce cases may involve high stakes or unresolvable issues that preclude using any process other than court, collaborative divorces are actually a viable option for many couples dissolving their marriages. There are several key advantages to this approach compared to litigation.
What does collaborative divorce involve?
Collaborative divorce is a mediated process that takes into account the emotional scale of the divorce and the potential effects on the family’s dynamics. It is especially useful in divorces that concern children, as it shields them from the public battle divorce court often becomes and keeps the divorce a private matter. In a collaborative divorce, the participants commit to undergoing a carefully planned process in a safe environment to negotiate a settlement that is optimal for both parties.
Because both parties design the terms of their divorce, the process does not involve any surprises or unfair decisions. Each person agrees to negotiate the separation respectfully, fairly and with transparency, allowing for flexibility in the process and reducing the chances that one or both participants will backtrack or hold unnecessary hostilities against the other. The negotiation is supervised, however, and the terms of the settlement approved by each party’s collaborative divorce lawyers.
In addition to maintaining an atmosphere that is much less stressful and more productive than litigation, a collaborative divorce also significantly reduces the cost of divorce because it eliminates expensive court-related fees. A collaborative divorce may also be carried out in less time, decreasing the disruption in the lives of the participants and their kids.
However, there are cases in which hostilities, financial stakes or serious concerns about one participant’s ability to parent may render a collaborative divorce an ineffective solution. Whether you are considering court or an alternative dispute resolution approach, meet with a Charlottesville family law attorney right away.
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