Collaborative Divorce: A Peaceful Litigation Alternative
Collaborative divorce is focused on helping families resolve their differences in an emotionally safe and respectful environment. At South Jersey Divorce Solutions, we are proud to help clients through a difficult transition using this powerful and effective legal tool.
The Basics Of Collaborative Law
Collaborative law is a different way to divorce. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse has an attorney to assist them in settling their issues outside of court. Parties engage in mindful negotiations with the assistance of their respective attorneys to allow the couple to divorce without destroying the family. There are three basic principles of collaborative practice:
- A pledge not to go to court
- An honest exchange of all information
- A resolution that is beneficial to the parties and their children
Collaborative law or collaborative divorce has been around for about 25 years, but it is newer in New Jersey. In 2014, the state of New Jersey passed the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act. This act created privilege in the collaborative process to give clients greater security in the full and free disclosure of information necessary to resolve their matters. It also gives privilege in matters where parties utilize the assistance of other trained professionals, such as coaches, child specialists and financial neutrals.
The Benefits Of A Collaborative Approach
Collaborative divorces may be less costly than a typical litigated divorce. The spouses have greater control over the costs associated with divorce, which is beneficial for older couples going through divorce as well. With a collaborative divorce, the spouses make their own determination in the outcome of the divorce. The spouses have control over what happens to them and their children. As with the mediation process, which is similar in nature, collaborative divorce uses problem-solving and creative solutions to reach a conclusion that fits the family’s needs and is less traumatic for the kids.
Privacy is another benefit. When litigating in open court, the family’s dirty laundry is out in the open. In a collaborative divorce, everything is kept private within the team and is not disclosed unless otherwise agreed to by the spouses. Parties enter into a participation agreement at the commencement of the collaborative process. In the event that the matter falls away from the collaborative process, the professionals involved in the matter must withdraw from the case. This disqualification clause is necessary to the process.
Is Collaborative Divorce Right For You?
- Do I want to continue to battle against my spouse?
- Do I want to throw mud at my spouse (or have mud thrown at me) in a public court?
- Do I want to make my divorce more about getting even than about protecting my children?
- Do I want to NOT be able to co-parent with my spouse?
- Do I want a judge telling me what will happen with my children, house, retirement accounts and other assets?
- Do I want to potentially spend tens of thousands of dollars (or even more) in legal fees?