If your marriage is ending, you may feel overwhelmed, emotional, and concerned about a contentious divorce process. However, with open communication and an attorney to represent your interests, you and your spouse can transition to the next phase of your lives collaboratively.
Collaborative divorce offers a peaceful, less-stressful solution to an often-difficult situation.
What Is Collaborative Divorce?
Standard divorce procedures involve discussing various concerns—such as child custody and property division—in court. The process is time-consuming, stressful, and expensive.
Collaborative divorce offers an alternative. This process allows divorcing couples to reach agreements without having to step foot in the courtroom. Lawyers trained in collaborative divorce represent you and your spouse during discussions. You and your former partner will discuss how to divide assets and split childcare duties, working with your attorneys to come to amicable agreements.
For a collaborative divorce to work, you and your spouse must agree to be honest and respect one another. If negotiations break down, you’ll need to go through a traditional divorce instead.
The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative divorce is beneficial because it can:
- Give you more freedom to find solutions that suit your situation
- Speed up the divorce process
- Help you save money in the long run
- Help make post-divorce interactions with your former spouse smoother
- Take some of the pressure out of the divorce process
While collaborative divorce can be useful, it won’t work for every couple. For example, some people may not be willing to sit down and speak with their partners amicably. In cases like these, collaborative divorce isn’t ideal.
If a couple has a history of abuse, collaborative divorce is not an option since the abusive partner may take advantage of their spouse.
The Collaborative Divorce Process
When you and your spouse agree to pursue a collaborative divorce, you'll follow several steps:
- Both you and your spouse contact separate attorneys.
- You and your spouse sign a no-court agreement stating that you intend to resolve your divorce amicably.
- You and your spouse meet with your lawyers individually. You can provide your lawyers with important personal information—such as finances—and discuss your goals.
- You and your lawyer meet with your spouse and their lawyer. The four of you discuss various concerns and strive to come to an agreement on each. Mediators may oversee these meetings to ensure everything proceeds smoothly. You may have several or many of these meetings, depending on how long negotiations take.
- Outside professionals may come in to help smooth out negotiations. This may include tax professionals, parenting coaches, and others. You can discuss bringing these professionals in beforehand so you’re better prepared.
- Once you and your former spouse reach an agreement, you file the divorce papers and settlement agreements.
Reach Out to a Collaborative Divorce Attorney in Virginia
Many people like the idea of collaborative divorce. Is it the right option for you? At DiPietro Law Group, we can examine your situation and provide you with advice. If you decide to pursue a collaborative divorce, our attorneys can assist you. Call (888) 530-4374 or contact us online for more information on how we can help.