Understanding Collaborative Divorce

Posted on May 27, 2016 in Family Law

Understanding Collaborative Divorce

Ending a marriage can create a number of emotional and practical challenges for everyone involved. Traditional divorce can be contentious, but for spouses who can deal in good faith with each other and wish to avoid costly court proceedings, the process of collaborative divorce may make this trying time easier to endure.

 

Traditional Divorce, Explained

In general, Connecticut considers “traditional divorce” the procedure where each party has a litigation attorney, and all documents are entered as discovery. All financial statements are subpoenaed for the court, testimony of witnesses is given, and details of shared properties are sorted so that a judgement can be granted dividing the assets.

When children are involved in divorce, custodial issues, as well as future education and medical expenses, are taken into consideration. There are time constraints for the delivery of each document and residency requirements in the state in which the action has been filed.

Collaborative Action Must Be Unanimous

Parties should know their state’s requirements prior to beginning an action. Some states, like Connecticut, offer residents the option of collaborative action. Both parties plus their counsel must agree before filing a collaborative divorce action that the parties and their attorneys swear to attempt a negotiated resolution of all issues without resorting to or threatening to revert to expensive court proceedings.

Instead, collaborative divorce must use only informal procedures producing financial documents and four-way conferences with both parties and counsel. All negotiation must be in good faith and include professional services of accountants, financial planners, and/or family counselors.

Be aware that some attorneys misleadingly identify themselves as “collaborative in style.” True attorneys of collaborative law file signed commitment to the “no court” aspect of the marital dissolution process.

Should negotiations break down, the parties and counsel must end the collaborative action and file the costly and time-consuming traditional divorce. This is an extra incentive for attorneys to help parties come to agreement.

The collaborative divorce model provides incentive and opportunity to agree on terms amicably, for the sake of both parties and their children.


Do you have questions about collaborative divorce? Reach out to BoneeWeintraub today.