When two parties disagree on numerous issues, divorces involve lawyers, court dates, a lot of time, and money. Divorce lawyers and family courts then seek to resolve these issues according to the rules of court and domestic relations laws, which may not be a good fit for resolving family disputes. For people who want to have more control over the outcome of their divorce, collaborative divorce law is the better way to settle their divorce. Let’s try to understand the underpinnings of the collaborative divorce process through the most frequently asked questions.
What Is a Collaborative Divorce?
The collaborative divorce process is typically a low conflict way of obtaining a divorce in Minnesota. As opposed to the traditional divorce process that takes place with the courtroom in the background and a “fight and win” strategy, a collaborative divorce process takes a team-based, problem solving approach. Participants in a collaborative divorce may choose to work with attorney’s only, use a financial neutral in addition to their attorneys, and/or work with a child specialist who can guide them on what is in their children’s best intersts.
What Are the Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce?
- An informal setting eases the environment and allows for open discussions.
- The process is cost-effective as compared to divorce litigation.
- The exchange of information is unrestricted, honest, and open.
- It can be a time-saving approach for obtaining a divorce.
- Individuals are free to negotiate the post-settlement disputes with mutual understanding.
- Both individuals negotiate a result that is beneficial, and for a greater benefit of the family.
When Should I Consult a Collaborative Divorce Attorney?
Individuals approaching divorce should consult a collaborative divorce attorney as soon as possible so they can review all the potential options and choose the one that best suits them. A collaborative law attorney can guide you through the divorce process with care and regard for your well-being.
How Is the Collaborative Law Different Than the Traditional Divorce Approach?
In traditional divorce litigation cases the attorneys for each spouse will fight to help their client get the bigger piece of the pie. In contrast, in a collaborative approach, the attorneys not only look out for their client’s best interest, but also guide their clients to arrive at a settlement that meets their present and future goals.
Thus, there is a paradigm shift in the way solutions and issues are perceived in a traditional divorce from the way they are handled in a collaborative divorce.
How Do the Participants Arrive at a Settlement?
Participants in a collaborative divorce discuss and collaborate through joint meetings, email conversations, and telephone conference calls. In these meetings, the individuals, their respective attorneys, and the other team members they choose sit around a table to discuss the solutions for achieving the desired outcome of the parties. The concerns of the family as a whole are considered rather than the interests of one person.
What If There Is an Obstacle to the Settlement of an Issue?
In a case that the parties cannot reach a settlement, the source of the issue is pondered. The collaborative team decides the best steps to be taken when this happens. At times when there is a need, other professionals may be involved in the case, such as a mediator or neutral evaluator.