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What is collaborative divorce?

In some circumstances, like where the parties litigate every issue, divorce can be a financially costly experience. One type of divorce process that can be more cost effective is a collaborative divorce. Because one of the primary drivers of divorce costs is disputes between spouses, the collaborative divorce process can save costs by facilitating agreements concerning divorce issues between the divorcing couple.

During the collaborative divorce process, each spouse is accompanied by an attorney and the couple works together to resolve divorce-related issues. Additional parties, such as financial advisors or counselors, may also be involved. The goal is to work toward amicable outcomes that both parties can live with and that are more cost efficient for the divorcing couple. By contrast, contested divorces may lead to a number of costly disputes that wind up in court and can take longer to resolve.

As part of the collaborative divorce process, the divorcing couple signs a contract to resolve the end of their marriage through transparency, disclosure and respect throughout the process. Collaborative divorce center around negotiation between the parties instead of argument. An additional benefit of collaborative divorce is that, unlike a traditional divorce that becomes part of the court's public record, collaborative divorces are private.

As is true of any type of divorce or divorce process, divorcing couples are always encouraged to reach fair agreements that can save time, money and acrimony. Though it may not be the best process for every divorcing couple, collaborative divorce is one option to help couples end their marriage as peacefully as possible, and with less cost than a litigated divorce. People in the Alameda area who are interested in learning more about divorce options should contact an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Spectrem's Millionaire Corner, "The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce," Kent McDill, Accessed on Sept. 12, 2015

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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