Not all divorces end up in a courtroom with bickering spouses and attorneys pleading their cases in front of judges. In fact, many couples are able to avoid the time, money and stress involved in litigated divorces. They work together to amicably negotiate the end of their marriages with the guidance of their attorneys. This is often referred to as “collaborative divorce.”
When divorcing couples have children, collaborative divorce can be particularly valuable. It allows co-parents to work together to craft a parenting plan that puts the best interests of their children at the forefront.
Couples using the collaborative approach are able to bring in financial and tax advisers, mental health professionals and other experts to help them work out their various agreements or provide support for something they’re seeking.
Collaborative divorce doesn’t necessarily require spouses to feel warmly toward one another. However, it does require that they put aside their negative feelings to communicate openly and work together to settle financial, property and, of course, custody matters.
It’s not for everyone. It’s not the best choice for high-conflict relationships, if spouses are far apart and unwilling to compromise on what they want or if there’s been any physical or emotional abuse in the relationship or the family.
If you and your spouse have chosen to have a collaborative divorce, it’s essential to have a California family law attorney who has experience with this type of divorce to be by your side during the process. This can help you emerge from your marriage satisfied with the agreements that have been reached and in the best possible position to move on with your life.