Lots of individuals want a divorce that is amicable and settled outside of court. They don’t want a nasty battle in court. They don’t want to spend a lot of money in attorney’s fees. They do not want their divorce to become so acrimonious that they cannot co-parent with each other. They want to be able to attend weddings together, the birth of grandchildren together, etc.
These sentiments certainly make sense. No rational person would want a nasty divorce. No rational person would want feelings to be made worse.
There is simply one problem that still stands in the way of this in many cases. While both parties might want to settle on a conceptual level, there are often still key differences between the proposed settlement terms between the parties.
In a divorce, to settle outside of court, parties have to agree on child custody, child support, spousal support and property and debt division –among other issues. In some cases, the parties might agree on 80%, 90% or even a greater number of the issues. But in many cases, there can be even 1, 2 or 3 issues in which they don’t agree.
When there are even a few issues in which parties cannot agree, an uncontested divorce cannot be completed. In these cases, the parties still need to work through these areas of disagreement to come to some kind of an accord.
In some cases, parties can ultimately do this to complete an uncontested divorce. In other cases, the parties cannot. While they both want to settle, they have a difficult time resolving all the issues in play. In many instances, this can cause an uncontested case to turn into a nasty court battle after two parties who both want to settle realize that settlement is more difficult than they initially thought.
This is where collaborative divorce can be helpful. In a collaborative divorce, each party has an attorney trained in collaborative law through the procedures set in play by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. The parties can also employ professionals like divorce coaches, a financial neutral and a child custody professional to help the parties try to bridge their differences on the issues that remain.
Versus filing for divorce, the parties agree to try to work out their differences in sessions. Ultimately, if the parties can reach an agreement, an uncontested divorce can then take place. If the parties cannot agree, they then hire different counsel and can litigate their case. But the hope with collaborative divorce is that the parties can resolve the issues of difference.
The reality is that in the collaborative process, there can often be hope because the parties are working together in good faith with the help of professionals who are all trying to help them settle versus litigate their case. At the same time, each party has an attorney representing them in the process as well to help give them important legal advice.
If you are interested in talking to an attorney about a collaborative divorce, you can contact us online or call us at 1-855-805-0595.