Some wonder whether collaborative divorce is worth the cost. In other words, when they contemplate collaborative practice and the enlistment of a collaborative team, they see the potential for having to pay various collaborative professionals.
They might then worry that the cost of a collaborative divorce may be high. For example, both parties have a collaborative lawyer. There is a divorce coach. And, in may cases, there is a financial neutral and/or a child custody professional.
Some then try to engage in settlement negotiations versus engaging in the collaborative process. Of course, settlement is tough. It requires agreement on all issues at place in a case.
For example, parties have to agree on marital property and debt division, spousal maintenance, attorney’s fees and, if there are children, child custody and child support. For lots of parties, it is difficult to agree on all of these issues.
When they cannot, they end up in court litigating a case. Ultimately, this may result in prolonged litigation or even a trial where settlement is not possible.
Thus, when individuals worry about the cost of a collaborative divorce, they should also worry about the cost of a litigated case. The cost of a litigated case can be significant in many cases.
Of course, in a litigated case, the judge also decides the result versus the parties agreeing to one outside of court. This can result in both parties being unhappy with the result. In some cases, it can result in future litigation and/or an appeal.
In many cases, a collaborative divorce is worth the cost where a settlement can be reached outside of court.