When you file for divorce, you have the option to choose between two different approaches. In a litigated divorce, you and your ex will go to court, present evidence and fight for what you believe is fair and appropriate.
However, you also have the option of filing an uncontested divorce. You and your ex provide the courts with information about the terms of your settlement. A judge reviews those documents and then finalizes your divorce. Uncontested filings can be quite easy for those with marital agreements, like a prenuptial agreement. They can be harder for those who are in the middle of a relationship breakdown.
The collaborative divorce process involves divorcing spouses and their attorneys working together to reach a workable settlement. There are many situations in which collaborative divorce could benefit you, such as the three common scenarios below.
You have children and worry about the impact of the divorce
Litigated divorces tend to be a lot harder on children. Their parents may become angrier and stressed out by the proceedings and can do even worse damage to their relationship.
Exposing the kids to bitter testimony in court or expecting them to speak up and make their living arrangement preferences known can traumatize them and damage their relationships with their parents. Since you handle those custody issues mutually in collaborative divorce, the process can help you protect your kids.
You have certain assets with significant emotional value to you
Splitting up your property isn’t just a source of financial stress. It can also be an emotional process, as everything from your companion animals to your heirloom furniture may be at risk. In a collaborative divorce, you get to maintain more control over the outcome and can therefore seek the terms or assets that matter the most to you.
You worry about your privacy
Maybe you run a business and don’t want your employees to know the financial details of your household. Perhaps you work for the local newspaper or television station and don’t want to become the center of local celebrity gossip because of accusations of infidelity or addiction.
You might even just want to make sure that you can address your biggest concerns from your marriage openly with your ex without damaging your reputation or theirs. Collaborative law occurs outside of the courtroom, which you say in negotiations typically will not become part of the public record and will remain confidential.
There are many scenarios that can prompt people to consider a collaborative divorce. Understanding how it could benefit you can help you decide the best way to end your marriage.