A new and increasingly more popular alternative to a traditional litigated divorce is a process called Collaborative Divorce. Couples who choose this process agree not to go to Court until they have a signed settlement agreement resolving all issues. All participants, including the professionals, sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement, which makes the process confidential and requires all professionals to withdraw if either party decides to litigate the case. Collaborative Divorce takes a team approach to resolving the issues and involves open communication among the couple, attorneys, accountants, mental health professionals and any other professionals that may be necessary depending on the circumstances of the case. The professionals must have specific training in the collaborative model.

If the collaborative process is right for a case, the benefits as compared to a traditional litigated divorce include:

  1. It gives the couple greater control over the outcome of their divorce.
  2. Resolution is generally less expensive and quicker than going to court.
  3. It benefits the children by keeping them out of the controversy.
  4. It helps the couple to maintain a sense of integrity and respect and takes into account the emotional component of the divorce.
  5. The couple can maintain privacy as opposed to having their personal life displayed in public in a court.
  6. Litigants are usually more satisfied with the results and have the time necessary to contemplate a settlement unlike
  7. the litigation context in which parties are often rushed by judges to sign an agreement on the eve or even morning of trial.

Although not every case is appropriate for the collaborative model, it is a new alternative that individuals should consider when contemplating a divorce.

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Collaborative Divorce – A New Alternative