Collaborative divorce is a process by which you can obtain a divorce from your spouse without going to court. By its very nature, the court process tends to pit divorcing spouses against one another. Litigation can exacerbate the anger, mistrust, and stress spouses may already feel as a result of separating.
Collaborative divorce, on the other hand, helps spouses to end their marriage cooperatively, respectfully, and with as little stress as possible. If you choose to end your marriage via the collaborative divorce method, a team of individuals will assist you in reaching decisions and compromises that benefit you, your spouse, and your children. Collaborative divorce takes a team approach to divorce. Both parties will be represented by their own attorney who has been trained in the collaborative process. Your attorney will inform you of your legal rights and responsibilities and will draft legally binding agreements to conclude your marriage. We use a joint financial expert who will assist you in determining the best way of dividing your assets and debts and can advise you as to any potential tax consequences resulting from the division. Each party has a therapist who we refer to as a “coach”. The coach is to provide emotional support through the process. When there are children we use a third neutral therapist who works with the team, you, your spouse, and your child(ren) to assist your family in coming up with a parenting plan that works for everyone and is in the child(ren)’s best interests. A coach will help you and your spouse work through any difficulties you may have in communicating or cooperating with one another. With the assistance of all these professionals, you and your spouse will feel empowered and capable of making all decisions necessary to end your marriage and move on with your lives without having to rely on a judge to make the decisions for you. The collaborative divorce process allows spouses to work as a team to move forward in a positive manner for the benefit of both spouses and the children. The collaborative process can also be used to terminate a domestic partnership.
Here at the Law offices of James-Phillip V.M. Anderson, we encourage divorcing spouses or domestic partners to consider using the collaborative process. Attorney Anderson is highly trained in the area of collaborative divorce. He can assist you in finding other professionals to be involved in your collaborative divorce team.