The usual way of handling contentious issues in divorce is courtroom litigation, however it's not the only choice. There are several alternatives meant to save divorcing couples money, time, and angst. Among those are no-fault divorce, divorce mediation, and collaborative divorce. You must choose your collaborative divorce attorney with care, as not all divorce lawyers are interested or skilled in this type of divorce. Read on to learn more about determining how willing your divorce lawyer might be to participate in collaborative divorce.
What is collaborative divorce?
When issues arise in a traditional divorce setting, it can prompt any number of legal steps and actions. For example, if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets in an effort to reduce the child support or spousal support award then your attorney might need to take action. In this case, the action might be a motion for a forensic accountant to examine your spouse's finances in detail to determine the true income picture. With a collaborative divorce, both parties must be willing to make a full disclosure of all debt, property, and everything else since the attorney won't be making any court motions at all.
Is collaborative divorce the right move to make?
Not all couples fit into the collaborative divorce scenario. Both parties must agree and must be willing to settle any differences outside of the courtroom. Honest and forthcoming disclosure and a willingness to compromise, set priories, and be flexible are all required.
Is the attorney right for the job?
While the laws can vary, the collaborative divorce attorneys for each side must sign an agreement outlining their roles in the process. Often, this agreement forbids any legal motions being filed and sets up guidelines for any issues that might arise during the process. In many cases, the agreements specify that both parties will have to hire an entirely new set of attorneys if the collaborative process does not work out.
Be sure and find out how much experience the attorney has in the specialized field of collaborative divorce. If you have children then the divorce process is far more complicated no matter what type of divorce you have. There are not only more issues to be decided but the emotions surrounding a divorce involving children can make a collaborative divorce more challenging. Having an attorney that has experience in overseeing collaborative divorces involving children is a must.
What do your instincts tell you?
Even if your attorney has experience in collaborative divorce, they must still pass the "gut" test. You will be working closely with this attorney for weeks or months during the process so feeling comfortable and secure with your choice can mean the difference between a relatively easy process and one fraught with regret. Speak to a collaborative divorce attorney near you today.
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