The Law Offices of Evan J. Starcevic, P.C offers family law clients creative solutions to their marital difficulties. Collaborative divorce gives couples the opportunity to reach an amicable agreement surrounding property, finances and care of children. Despite the fact that your marriage is ending, there is a way to maintain civil communication and make sound, long-term family decisions in the divorce process.
What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative law is a relatively new and modern approach to divorce that differs from the typical adversarial approach to marital dissolution. Both you and your spouse are still represented by your own attorney, but there is an agreement to finalize the terms of your divorce outside of court. There are several distinct aspects to collaborative divorce that set it apart including:
- Both parties sign a contract to resolve their legal issues out of court
- Both parties agree on certain “Rules of the Road” for the divorce process, including: Goals, Disclosure of Information, Participation with Integrity, Experts, Attorney Fees, Negotiation in Good Faith, Enforceability of Agreements, and Confidentiality
- There is no filing of court documents until the process is complete
- Both spouses and their attorneys will meet together and work out the divorce terms
- Other professionals can be involved to help overcome obstacles, such as child therapists, financial advisors, business appraisers and other related fields.
- Both attorneys must be trained in collaborative law
If for some reason no agreement is reached, all discussions and negotiations are not admissible if the divorce ends up in litigation. For this reason, it is a ‘low-risk’ alternative that can save time, money and emotional stress during your divorce. Even if you do not reach agreement, you will have at least opened up a civil dialogue with your spouse than could make future negotiations much easier.