When two people make the decision to divorce, the process is often highly emotional. For spouses who have managed to approach the divorce process in an amicable and rational manner, taking part in a traditional courtroom divorce may seem unnecessary. For divorcing spouses in this situation, there’s an alternative known as collaborative divorce.

While the traditional divorce process starts with the assumption that conflicts exists and therefore nearly everything must be negotiated, a collaborative divorce centers on finding common ground first and, if necessary, then working to compromise and find mutually-beneficial solutions to any unresolved issues. This approach is attractive to many divorcing couples for a number of reasons including savings of both time and expense.

When pursuing a collaborative divorce, it’s critical that both spouses understand the process and are committed to participating to resolve divorce issues related to the division of property and child custody. Each spouse still retains respective attorneys who assist in ensuring a client’s best interests are represented and also aid in the negotiation process.

Throughout the collaborative process, spouses and their attorneys meet in person to discuss divorce-related issues in an attempt to discover resolutions that are amenable to both parties. At different points during the process, experts may be called upon to add legitimacy to claims related to property, finances and also a child’s wellbeing.

While the majority of couples who opt for a collaborative divorce are successful in resolving matters related to the dissolution of a marriage, at any point, either party can opt to litigate a divorce. However, upon doing so, both parties must retain new attorneys.

Much like litigation isn’t for everyone, the collaborative process doesn’t work for all couples. However, for couples who want to have more control over the divorce process and resolve matters largely on their own, a collaborative divorce can be less stressful, time consuming and costly.

Source: FindLaw.com, “Collaborative Divorce: Overview,” 2015