With a success rate of 86%, collaborative divorce offers couples in Pennsylvania and around the country an alternative to litigation. If you want a divorce process that helps you and your spouse work towards an amicable resolution of your issues, a collaborative divorce might be right for you. While it might not work for all couples, you can benefit from this alternative to litigation in both the short and long run.
Understanding the Collaborative Divorce Process
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will each work with your own respective divorce lawyer and other members of your divorce team to collaborate on resolving the issues of your break up. The goal of this process is to foster a relationship focused on problem-solving between the spouses. The steps to achieve this include:
- Gathering your team of professionals to support and guide you during this process
- Signing an agreement at the beginning that commits both spouses to this format without either being allowed to file anything in court until issues are resolved together
- Understanding that if communication and negotiations fail each person’s team will be dismantled
- Committing to being honest and transparent about the disclosure of information during the work sessions
- Filing a divorce agreement in court after successful negotiations
What Issues Can You Resolve During the Collaborative Divorce Process?
If you choose to collaborate on your divorce process, you can resolve most, if not all, of your issues. Some of these include:
- Asset and debt division, including insurance policies, investments and retirement accounts
- Child custody, including parenting time and schedule
- Child support payment details
- Alimony or spousal support agreements
This collaboration process allows you and your spouse to resolve issues out of the courtroom, keeping your information private. Working together and focusing on the issues can also help you work towards a faster divorce, saving you money. It will also allow you both to develop positive communication skills, which can improve your relationship, and it can even help you on your parenting journey as you continue raising your children after the divorce is final. Finally, a collaborative process can make it easier for you to heal emotionally since the feelings are positive and productive rather than spiteful and acrimonious as is found in some litigated divorces.
A collaborative divorce allows you and your spouse, along with each person’s divorce lawyer and team, to negotiate over your assets and debts, helping you to find creative solutions to set you up for a stable financial life moving forward. You also become an example for your children by demonstrating your ability to solve problems and your commitment to them as a family, something that might not be possible in a dramatic courtroom battle.
When is Collaborative Divorce Not the Best Choice?
While the collaborative divorce process might be intriguing, there are situations where it might not be favorable or possible to engage in it. For example, if there is a history of domestic abuse and one spouse fears for their safety around the other, then collaboration is not an option. Another reason why it might not work is if your relationship with your spouse has deteriorated so much that you simply cannot get along or even speak to each other since open and amicable communication is at the center of this process.
Committing to the Process
The success of collaborative divorce hinges on the commitment of both spouses and their teams to negotiate in good faith. If both parties are willing to do this, there is a good chance that you will arrive at a fair resolution.
If you are interested in exploring the collaborative divorce process, you can call us at the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner at 215-886-1266 to schedule an appointment at our Jenkintown offices. We are ready to help you solve your issues out of court. You can also fill out our contact form to request a consultation to find out how we can help you achieve an amicable divorce that allows you to look positively at the future.