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A Collaborative Divorce Q&A, Part II

In our last blog, we began a two-part series covering common questions and answers regarding the collaborative divorce process. Today, we will continue with part two of this series with answers to more FAQs.

Read part one of this blog article where we explain what collaborative divorce is, which attorneys can practice collaborative law, and what happens when you can’t reach a settlement.

Who is involved in the collaborative divorce process?

You, your spouse, and each of your collaborative practice attorneys will be involved throughout the collaborative divorce process. Additionally, one of the biggest benefits of the collaborative process is the ability to include other professionals in your collaborative divorce team to advise you and your spouse. You could include financial professionals to help with making decisions regarding the division of assets, and you could employ a child specialist to help develop an effective child custody, visitation, and support plan. You and your spouse can utilize the expertise of professionals in nearly any aspect of the collaborative process to help you make the most informed and fair decisions possible.

How long does the collaborative divorce process last?

Generally, a collaborative divorce will be much more efficient than a divorce that is litigated in court since you will not be beholden to scheduling court dates on an overcrowded Family Court docket. No matter which style of divorce you choose to utilize, the amount of time your divorce takes will always vary based on the complexity of your circumstances, but a collaborative divorce tends to move much more swiftly than an adversarial method of divorce.

What does collaborative divorce cost?

The cost of collaborative divorce can vary drastically from couple to couple based on specific circumstances, needs, and goals. While it should not necessarily be considered a “low-cost” option for divorce, it can oftentimes cost significantly less than a traditional litigated divorce since you will not have to pay court fees and, as we just mentioned, since the process tends to move more efficiently than a litigated divorce.

Can a collaborative divorce help protect our privacy?

Yes! While a litigated divorce in court will be a matter of public record, meaning the details are available to anyone who wants to seek them out, a collaborative divorce will be a private affair. There will be complete transparency between you, your spouse, and your attorneys, but those details will go no further than those who are directly involved in your divorce.

How is collaborative divorce different from mediation?

A mediated divorce employs the services of a neutral attorney (or possibly a retired judge) who will mediate the discussion and details of your divorce. He or she cannot give either spouse legal advice and there is no guarantee or agreement that the case will not proceed to litigation. Mediation is usually less adversarial than a traditional divorce, but with the threat of litigation still intact, there is much more potential that one spouse may try to bully the other into agreeing to certain aspects of a divorce settlement by leveraging the other’s desire to keep the divorce out of court.

Under what circumstances will collaborative divorce NOT work?

Collaborative divorce is not necessarily right for everyone. If there is a significant lack of trust between the spouses, it could be difficult to find common ground upon which to reach a collaborative agreement. Furthermore, if there is a history of domestic violence, fear and intimidation may adversely affect the proceedings. Sometimes litigation or other methods are necessary.  The best thing to do is to consult with a divorce attorney trained and experienced in collaborative divorce to discuss your options and analyze whether a collaborative divorce could be right for you.

If you have more questions about collaborative divorce which we have not answered here or in part one of this blog, or if you are interested in pursuing a collaborative divorce, please contact the Law Office of Kenneth J. Levey today.

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