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How does collaborative divorce work?

There are a number of couples who may be looking for alternatives to the traditional divorce process. Alternatives to the traditional divorce process such as mediation or collaborative divorce may save divorcing couples time, money and acrimony. As may be true of any divorce, couples may also have a variety of questions concerning collaborative divorce, including what it is, how it works and how it may help them through their divorce process.

Collaborative divorce is a divorce process that provides an alternative to the traditional divorce process. The collaborative divorce process involves three principles which are a commitment to reach a divorce agreement without litigating it; a commitment to an honest exchange of information from both of the spouses; and a commitment to reaching a solution that accounts for the priorities of the spouses and children.

An added benefit of collaborative divorce is that is it allows the divorcing couple to make decisions that are best for them and their family rather than relying on a judge, who may not be as familiar with the couple's situation and circumstances, to decide. The collaborative divorce process entails that both parties are represented and come together to discuss financial and property issues, issues related to any children the couple has and to reach a divorce settlement between them. If the parties decide to litigate the divorce, their attorneys must withdraw. Additional professionals may be involved to help the couple better resolve divorce-related issues.

The collaborative divorce process is a process that can save couples from a costly and lengthy divorce process by focusing on mutual respect and resolution and providing for alternatives when that breaks down. The divorce process can be challenging for anyone which is why understanding the options available can be helpful for any couple considering divorce.

Source: Northern California Mediation Center, "FAQS RE: COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE," Accessed March 7, 2016

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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