Collaboration sounds nice….but in the context of divorce, is there such a thing?
Collaborative divorce is an out-of-court method of coming to a resolution on the issues involved in a divorce: custody, division of assets, spousal support, parenting plans, etc. Collaborative divorce requires a special participation agreement in which both spouses commit to specific out of court ground rules for behavior.
But if you are already getting a divorce, how can you expect to collaborate with that good for nothing spouse? After all, you don’t exactly get along swimmingly with him. Isn’t that necessary for collaborative divorce to work? Not at all. You don’t have to like each other at all. You just have to play fair.
To help you both play fair, a collaborative divorce team is assembled. This includes an attorney for each spouse, financial experts, child experts, and coaches. This is a specialized field of dispute resolution with its own training and skill. Ask your attorney if he or she has been trained in this field.
In collaborative divorce, everything is done in private, outside the courtroom. The way your dissolution is structured depends on the agreements you are able to reach with your spouse. Consider how much stress is reduced when you are the one who gets to schedule the meetings. You aren’t at the mercy of the court’s calendar. With kids, and work, and life, this avenue will surely reduce the constant tension that surrounds getting a divorce.
And if at any time it isn’t working for you, you can shift to a traditional divorce. Collaborative divorce is a voluntary process; certainly worth attempting but not one that forgoes your other options.
Pacific Northwest Family Law has trained and experienced collaborative divorce attorneys. Schedule an appointment at Pacific Northwest Family Law by calling 360-926-9112.