When many people think of divorce, they think of tumultuous courtroom battles between spouses fighting over everything from personal property to their own children. The collaborative divorce process is a way for families to avoid the chaos and stress of a traditional divorce, and work together to come up with the best solution for the family.
What is the collaborative divorce process?
Generally, the collaborative divorce process is much simpler than a traditional divorce. The steps are as follows:
- Hire a lawyer- Both you and your spouse may each hire your own attorney, preferably one who has experience in the field of collaborative law. Your attorney will be on your side throughout the collaborative process.
- Sign a participation agreement – Under the Ohio Collaborative Family Law Act, the process begins when the families sign a Collaborative Family Law Participation Agreement.
- Bring in additional experts – The great thing about a collaborative divorce is that attorneys are not the only experts involved in the process. Divorce coaches, child specialists, financial advisors, and other experts may be brought in to help come up with a fair resolution.
- Negotiate and prepare settlement documents – After a few meetings where all parties will gather information and negotiate the different aspects of the divorce, the parties will hopefully come to an agreement. The attorneys will then draw up the necessary settlement documents.
- Sign the settlement or end the process – The process typically will end when the parties come to a negotiated resolution that both parties agree to sign. However, if the parties cannot agree, the collaborative divorce process will end and the parties will go to court to address their issues.
Advantages to collaborative divorce
There are many advantages to having a collaborative divorce. For one thing, you will be given support from experts in all areas relating to the divorce, including financial and legal. You and your spouse will learn to communicate better, and have a better chance at keeping the positive communication going after the divorce is over. A collaborative divorce also allows you and your family to have control over what happens next, instead of a judge.
Collaborative divorce is not for everyone, but it has proven advantageous to many couples and families. An attorney can advise you on whether collaborative divorce is right for you.