There are several alternative processes available to people considering divorce: litigation, mediation, do it yourself, or Collaborative Divorce. The process you choose will have a significant impact on the outcome of your divorce and your future. This post discusses the benefits of Collaborative Divorce and why it might provide a better outcome for your divorce.
In a Collaborative Divorce, the sole similarity to “traditional” divorce litigation is that both you and your spouse will have your own attorney. Each attorney will serve that attorney’s respective client: you, and your spouse. Collaborative Divorce differs in that other neutral professionals (such as a communication facilitator, parenting specialist, and financial professional) are engaged with one common goal: helping you and your spouse reach an agreement. Rather than battle things out in Court, the focus throughout the Collaborative Process is on achieving an agreement that meets the specific needs of both the of parties and their children.
At Buck & Fish Ltd., we have chosen to focus on the Collaborative Process for ten (10) reasons:
- The Collaborative Process occurs outside the Court, which is contrary to “traditional” divorce litigation which occurs in the Court (and Court system). As a result, Collaborative Divorce is—for most people—less time-consuming, stressful, and costly.
- You and your spouse are in control and responsible for making decisions about your family’s future. In Court, a judge determines your fate and how you will parent your children. By choosing the Collaborative Divorce Process, you and your spouse maintain the power to make all the decisions for your family’s future.
- The attorneys and neutral professionals will work with you to focus on your future, and will work with you and your spouse to create win-win solutions. While the attorneys work for you and your spouse, the neutral professionals work for the Team. The goal is for both you and your spouse to be informed and empowered to make mutually-beneficial financial agreements and to develop a quality co-parenting plan.
- You and your spouse pledge to be transparent, civil, and respectful during the Collaborative Divorce Process. This enables positive family relations down the road and creates a supportive environment for your children.
- The neutral parenting specialist will help you craft a plan that is specifically tailored for your family.
- The neutral financial professional works with both you and your spouse to assess your financial picture and help you understand the choices you have in order to realize the most effective allocation of property and cash flow for your family.
- The costs involved with Collaborative Divorce are typically considerably less than “traditional” divorce litigation. Though not an inexpensive process, the use of the neutral professionals provides a more efficient process, which helps keep costs lower than those that would be incurred through “traditional” divorce litigation.
- Dignity and respect are the tenets of the Collaborative Divorce Process. The Process allows you and your spouse to have a functional relationship going forward and to better co-parent your children going forward. Attending your children’s events together is likely to be more enjoyable and less stressful because you and your ex-spouse have learned to work together and without hostility.
- The Collaborative divorce is private. In contrast, “traditional” divorce litigation takes place in the Court’s public forum.
- You and your spouse, with the assistance of the professionals on your Collaborative Team, determine the timeframe for your process. The timeframe for a divorce case is dictated by the judge and his or her docket, and, as most courtrooms are extremely backlogged, the divorce case takes a very long time to resolve.
Terminating your marriage is difficult for a variety of reasons. One of the most important decisions in your life was to marry; another is the process you choose to end your marriage. Through the Collaborative Divorce Process, the Process’s mutual goal-setting, and managed communications, your chances are higher for a successful transition after your marriage has ended.
Elaine S. Buck and Jeffery D. Fish are divorce attorneys serving Columbus, Ohio. While the firm offers other options for termination of marriage, including mediation, co-mediation, and “traditional” divorce litigation, the attorneys feel that the Collaborative Divorce Process offers a number of desirable attributes that make the Process highly effective. If you have questions about the Collaborative Process, please do not hesitate to call their office (at 614-538-2901) today.