At the Law Offices of Diane J.N. Morin in California, we know that many of our clients are looking for a more amicable, cooperative and less stressful way to obtain a divorce than that offered by the traditional litigation process. If you fit this description, FindLaw explains that a collaborative divorce may be exactly what you are looking for.
The only similarity between a collaborative divorce and a traditional litigated one is that you and your spouse each retains your own attorney. However, your respective attorneys do not see themselves or their clients as adversaries. Rather, the attorneys help you and your spouse iron out your differences, negotiate in a cooperative and non-threatening atmosphere, and arrive at mutually agreeable solutions, all while looking out for your respective best interests.
The collaborative divorce process
After each of you hires your attorney and speaks privately with him or her so as to convey all concerns, issues and goals, all four of you begin meeting together for purposes of negotiation. How many meetings take place depends on the number of issues you and your spouse have and how far apart you are on those issues at the beginning of the collaborative process.
If you and your spouse are a high-asset couple, you may wish to hire additional neutral people such as a CPA, financial planner, child psychologist, estate planner, etc. to sit in on the negotiation sessions and provide their expertise. Ultimately, the two of you reach compromises that result in mutually agreeable resolutions of your issues, including the following:
- Custody, support and visitation of your children
- Spousal support
- Property division
- Protection of any family business or professional practice involved
Participating in a good-faith collaborative divorce provides you, your spouse and your children with many benefits. Perhaps the most important one is the effect that it has on your children. When they see their beloved parents working together cooperatively even though the family is breaking up, you have given them the best role models they possibly could have for resolving whatever conflicts they face and will face during their lives.
For more information on this subject, please visit this page on our website.