A divorce is a painful proceeding, no matter how you go about it. Add children or money to the equation, and that goes double. But not every divorce has to be acrimonious.
In a collaborative divorce, also called an “agreed” divorce, the spouses each hire divorce lawyers who work together to settle the case. You both agree to provide whatever information the attorneys request, and keep an open mind as far as settlement. When you’ve decided, lawyers will file for you and take care of the necessary paperwork.
Collaborative divorce isn’t to be confused with uncontested divorce, in which the spouses themselves make all of these decisions together, and only involve the courts when it’s time to make the break official.
Now, let’s dive into the pros, and a few cons, of collaborative divorce.
✓ Pro: Mediation Helps “Set the Table”
If you choose mediation as a first step, your trained divorce mediator will help you work through whatever issues are keeping you or your spouse from signing the agreement. Keeping focus fully on the final outcomes and reaching those agreements makes it possible to release a lot of the emotional static that may be getting in the way of your solution. A mediator will facilitate communication and can help get you past those rough spots regarding child care decisions and property division before you ever involve an attorney.
✕ Con: Possibly Starting Over
In collaborative divorce, if the spouses can’t reach a settlement, your attorneys will have to withdraw themselves, and you’ll start the process over with new lawyers. Collaborative divorce is a bet that you’ll be able to work anything out eventually and reach a settlement, and losing that bet means paying at least two sets of attorneys.
✓ Pro: Faster Resolution
If you’re looking for a quick and less expensive way to dissolve your union, you can’t beat the legal input of attorneys in a collaborative divorce. They can navigate the courts with you, file motions and paperwork, and generally smooth your way through the process. Uncontested divorces still have to deal with the courts and documents once they’ve arrived at an agreement, but with lawyers on your side, the process can be quite painless.
✕ Con: Legal Fees
Having an attorney on your divorce is immensely helpful, but that comes at a cost. Literally, in this case. More and more attorneys are offering flat fees for work like this, and you may even find a deal or two. But in the end you’re still paying at least two lawyers and possibly a mediator, and that cuts into the final settlement for both of you.
✓ Pro: Retaining the Relationship
The importance of creating less conflict between spouses cannot be taken lightly. While collaborative divorce is best recommended for couples without kids or complicated finances, it’s less painful all around to retain a positive relationship with your ex-spouse. Collaborative and uncontested divorces are two ways you can preserve goodwill while still hammering out the details.
Collaborate Your Divorce with Nilsson Legal Group
You have options when choosing to end your marriage. Depending on your circumstances, you now know which route will suit you best. Whatever you decide, let Nilsson Legal Group help guide you through this rocky time.
Our team has been practicing family law in Fort Worth since 2013, so we know what you are going through and we’ve seen the best ways to resolve it. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have about the process, and we’ll make sure your divorce is accomplished on your terms.
Schedule your free consultation today!