When Collaborative Divorce Does Not Work

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Collaborative Divorce As An Option

A collaborative divorce is an option many parties should consider when their marriage is ending. In a collaborative divorce, both parties hire a lawyer trained in collaborative practice. They also utilize the help of experts like a divorce coach, financial neutral, and child custody professional.

The hope is that the parties can resolve their divorce or family law matter outside of court. After they reach an agreement, they can submit settlement paperwork to the judge to end their case.

In some situations, however, this process does not work. The parties may try in good faith to settle but sometimes get stuck. No matter how hard they try, they cannot forge a middle ground acceptable to both of them.

What Happens When Collaborative Divorce Does Not Work?

What happens when a collaborative divorce does not work? This list is not all-inclusive, but some of the possibilities are below:

1.) The parties sometimes may need to take a break, reevaluate their goals or interests, and then reconvene at a later date. After coming back, some parties might ultimately settle on more thought and deliberation.

2.) The parties may decide to arbitrate their divorce or family law matter. In arbitration, the parties are resolving their case outside of court. However, the resolution is reached differently. In arbitration, the arbitrator renders a decision that is binding. A potential downside to arbitration is that parties waive their right to appeal.

3.) The parties might think about utilizing different collaborative divorce lawyers or various experts. Sometimes, a change in personnel can result in better communication and ideas that may assist the parties in settling. New personnel does not always make it better, but it is an option that some may consider.

4.) Mediation might be an option instead of a collaborative divorce. In mediation, parties often meet with a third party mediator either alone or with their lawyers. Mediation is, in many ways, a pared-down version of collaborative divorce. In some cases, the parties might feel that this is a better option.

5.) Unfortunately, in some cases, the parties may have to go to court. While parties may want to settle their divorce or family law matter, a settlement is not always possible. In these cases, going to court and having the judge decide it is still an option.

While parties who engage in collaborative divorce almost always desire an out-of-court settlement, it is not always possible. The above options are worthy of consideration for those in this circumstance.

Still Worth The Effort

For those who have not tried collaborative divorce, it is worth trying in many circumstances. While it does not work all the time, when parties can settle outside of court it can help parties co-parent and get along better after the divorce.

When parties get along after a divorce, it decreases visits to court on motions to modify and motions for contempt. Parties can also attend weddings of their children, birth of grandchildren, and other significant events without animosity.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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