An Alternative To Adversarial Divorce
Collaborative divorce is a cheaper alternative to a divorce trial. It also empowers the divorcing couple and reduces emotional conflict.
In the last few years, a new technique has arisen in the practice of divorce law that attempts to resolve a divorce by both parties agreeing not to go to court. Collaborative Divorce ("CD") is a way of going through the divorce process which minimizes the emotional impact on the family with the help of a team of professionals.
CD is a process where legal, emotional and financial elements are addressed by a team of professionals, retained by the couple, to resolve the issues surrounding the divorce. This process of divorce allows the couple to make the decisions that will affect their future and their changing relationships, not the court system. A collaborative team consists of professionals who are trained in the collaborative divorce process and is made up of:
2 attorneys, one for each spouse,
2 coaches, one for each spouse, (licensed mental health professionals)
1 financial specialist (CPA)
1 child specialist, (licensed mental health professional)
Because each professional is trained in collaborative divorce and works together, this process is much more cost efficient than a traditionally litigated, adversarial divorce. Often, the cost differential is approximately 1/3 of a traditional divorce.
Divorce coaching is different from traditional therapy and is not a replacement for therapy. The role of the mental health professional is to strategize with the client and the other spouses coach to work through emotional impasses that may get in the way of reaching a Marital Settlement Agreement. The coach works with the client individually as well as in meetings with the attorney's and the other spouse as they are reaching agreement. Divorce coaches encourage the client to continue with their own therapy or seek professional counseling if needed.
CD requires that the couple sign an agreement that they will not go to court. If, for any reason, either spouse decides to litigate the case, then neither collaborative attorney may continue to represent either spouse.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce:
- Empowers the couple to be in control, not the court system
- Targets solutions, not problems
- Reduces emotional conflict
- Focuses attorney time on law, not emotional issues
- Reduces divorce cost significantly
- Provides a solid foundation for a post-divorce relationship
- Gives children a voice in the process
For a consultation with The Law Offices of Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP, call (949) 565-4158 or contact us online.
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