Collaborative divorce is an approach used to resolve a divorce outside of court. It focuses on understanding the reasons behind each person’s position, and determining what is best for the family as a whole.
There are at least four individuals, other than the parties, involved in the collaborative process. Each party hires their own attorney, similar to a standard divorce. In addition, the parties hire a neutral facilitator. This person often is a mental health professional, and helps the parties communicate during joint meetings. Finally, there is typically a financial expert, who review both parties’ financial documents and helps them reach a fair resolution of the finances.
At the beginning of representation, each client signs two agreements: one with their own attorney, and one with the other party, both agreeing to use the collaborative process. If the parties later decide to go to court, they must each hire a new attorney. This is to encourage the parties to be transparent during meetings, and to prevent threats of “we’ll just go to court.”
Next come a series of meetings between the parties, their attorneys, and the experts. Additional experts, such as a parenting coach or counselor, can be added based on the family’s needs. The goal of the meetings is to determine what each party wants, why the request is being made, and a resolution that will meet best meet the needs of the parties and their children.
Collaborative law offers a number of benefits, such as helping clients establish a better co-parent relationship, crafting an agreement that will lead to less conflict after the divorce is over, and protecting the parties’ privacy.
Wondering if the collaborative process would work for your divorce? Give me a call to find out whether it might be a good fit. You can learn more and meet other professionals at the South Denver Collaborative Divorce Professionals website.