Couples who have made the difficult decision to divorce are often overwhelmed with anxiety and dread when they think about the actual divorce process. And who can blame them? Traditional divorce can be costly, stressful, and time-consuming, requiring people to repeatedly rearrange their schedules for court hearings. The last thing many people want to do is spend hours arguing with their soon-to-be ex in front of a judge over property division, custody, and alimony issues.
Collaborative divorce can save you time and money
Fortunately, there is another way to handle your divorce. If you and your spouse are more focused on working together to solve your issues than trying to defeat each other in court, collaborative divorce may be the best option for you.
Collaborative divorce allows spouses to hire their own attorneys and meet in an informal setting to come up with a divorce agreement that works for both parties. Before the four of you meet, it is best if you talk to your attorney in private to give them an understanding of what your priorities are before beginning the negotiation process. All four of you will sign a ‘no court’ agreement, which states that if the case goes to court, your attorneys will withdraw from the case.
The negotiation process
During the negotiation process, all issues relating to the divorce will be discussed. In addition to you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys, you may also have neutral experts, including child custody specialists and financial advisors, to give advice and help things go more smoothly. If you and your spouse are unable to agree, a mediator may be brought in to assist in the discussion.
Once negotiations are completed and you have an agreement, you will file your papers with the court. Since all the divorce issues have already been resolved, this should be a simple, straightforward process.
Collaborative divorce isn’t for everyone, but for spouses willing to compromise and work together, it can be a great way to avoid stress and save time and money. A family law attorney in the Northern Virginia area can help you decide if collaborative divorce is right for you.