You may wish to avoid the heartache, cost and time of a court battle, so you are looking into amicable divorce methods. You considered mediation, but you and your spouse have too much at stake and a significant amount of conflict, especially when it comes to child custody matters and asset division. However, you are still willing to work things out without the interference of a judge, if possible. Like other Californians considering an uncontested divorce, you might be thinking about collaborative law.
It is important to note that although categorized as uncontested, a collaborative divorce works differently than mediation. During mediation, you and your spouse discuss your issues with a mediator and attempt to negotiate resolutions. Some of these cooperative techniques exist in collaborative law, but you will also involve your own attorneys, as the American Bar Association explains. You, your spouse and each attorney will sign an agreement not to litigate. This may give everyone an incentive to resolve matters outside of court, since your attorneys will need to resign from the case if you cannot agree on solutions without a judge's assistance.
Since collaborative law is meant to help people with complex issues, you may also involve other professionals during the process. These may include tax experts, child therapists and financial advisors. Collaborative law can have numerous benefits if it works for you, including privacy, reduced conflict and a swifter resolution. However, since the information presented in this blog does not account for your own circumstances, it is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.