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An analysis of collaborative divorce: reasons to beware, Part 1

Collaborative divorce is touted as the future of divorce and the key to ending acrimonious separations. While true, collaborative divorce does hold many promises to reduce costs, keep relations civil, and speed up divorces; there are significant limitations to the process. These limitations are necessary to keep the collaborative process running smoothly, therefore, they exclude some couples because they are unable to make the method work.

Collaborative divorce is a new method that is designed to reduce disputes and speed up the divorce process. Couples and their attorneys sign an agreement to divulge all information and to work together to negotiate a divorce agreement. Once the divorce agreement is negotiated, it is submitted to the court for ratification. The goal is to give the parties ultimate control over how they divorce.

In theory, this is a great solution, but it leaves out an important caveat, namely that litigated divorce in court can also be cheap and efficient. Collaborative divorce capitalizes on a couples’ ability to work together and amicably end their marriage. But those feelings of cooperation can also speed up litigated divorces and keep down costs. No one forces couples (in court) to fight or hold grudges, if couples bring the same can-do attitude to litigated divorce, then it would be just as fast and cheap.

Are you considering divorce? If yes, you should contact a lawyer as soon as convenient. An attorney can go over the pros and cons of the various methods to get divorced, including collaborative divorce. Not every method applies to every situation, therefore, it is best to go over these options with someone who specializes in them. The last thing you need is to waste money on a method that was ultimately going to fail. A lawyer can save you money and time by cutting through the nonsense.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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