Divorce can be a complex process, and depending on the relationship between the spouses, it can get very contentious. New Jersey couples, however, have the option of choosing a collaborative divorce process, which can save them both time and money.
The collaborative divorce process
When couples choose the collaborative divorce process, they choose to work together to resolve their divorce issues, such as division of property, financial support and child custody arrangements. This does not mean that they go into the process already in agreement on how to resolve these issues, but that they are committed to trying to resolve them out of court. Each spouse has their own collaborative divorce lawyer and they and their lawyers meet to negotiate. They might also use other professionals to help them resolve their issues. If the couples reach an agreement, the lawyers will create a draft document to present to the court, and the spouses will have a short court appearance to get the judge’s approval. If they do not reach an agreement, they can then go through the court, although they will probably need to hire new lawyers to represent them.
Benefits of collaborative divorce
Collaborative divorce offers couples several benefits. These include:
- An opportunity to resolve issues outside of the courtroom
- The chance to negotiate a fair agreement that works for both spouses
- Practice collaborating and overcoming challenges, which will be helpful to parents who are sharing custody
- A faster divorce process
- A less expensive divorce process
While not all spouses are able to work out their problems amicably, the collaborative divorce process is still an option. It can give divorcing spouses a private forum to discuss their issues while they work on their settlement agreement. Spouses might choose to collaborate during their divorce as soon as they start the process or they might choose this option during the process.