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

A new divorce method is sweeping across the country, collaborative divorce. It is a mixture of mediated and litigated divorce. As discussed in a previous article, each couple retains its attorney, and they commit to working together to achieve an amicable divorce. If it works, it is good for everyone, saves money, time, and emotional turmoil. But if it does not work, it can end up making the entire divorce more expensive because each couple must rehire new attorneys, which delays the entire process and costs more money. This post will go over some of those disadvantages.

You need to remember that you are getting divorced for a reason. Collaborative divorce can work, when it works, and everyone is committed to the process. But don't let yourself get taken in by the seeming benefits of collaborating on your divorce. You are separating for a reason, and that reason can rear its head and undermine the entire process. So, before you even begin to consider collaborative divorce, think about why you are separating and determine if that is something you can overcome.

Also, consider that both sides waive their right to discovery (investigation into each other's finances and other facts related to the divorce). Thus, you are given less opportunity to investigate the truth. Granted, both sides promise to share all information but in the end, that means you must trust your other spouse to disclose everything.

If you are involved in a contested divorce, you should contact an attorney for legal advice and representation. As you can see, there are numerous issues connected to divorce that run the gamut from personal and financial to legal. A family law attorney works with these issues every day and can help you anticipate and prepare for them. You don't need to figure these divorce issues out yourself; a lawyer can help.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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