What Is Collaborative Divorce
Divorce is never easy. However, if you and your ex are not in a high-conflict or contested divorce, you may find the collaborative method beneficial. Collaborative divorce is gaining popularity as it is a method that takes a more cooperative approach and keeps couples out of the courtroom. Instead of relying on a judge to define divorce terms, couples work together with their lawyers, and perhaps a mediator, to arrive at terms independently from the courts.
When preparing for a collaborative divorce, you should be ready to:
- Be flexible
- Be respectful
The goal of a collaborative divorce is to avoid litigation in court. This can only happen when both parties agree on all terms. If you and your ex cannot agree on something, you will instead go through the contested divorce process, which involves appearing in court.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Collaborative Divorce?
No matter what type of divorce you are going through, you should seek representation from a reliable attorney. Even in the best of situations, disputes may arise, and having a lawyer on your side is highly beneficial. There are many things to consider, and a lawyer can help you ensure that your rights are protected. Your attorney will also ensure that all documents are completed accurately and filed correctly.
At the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C., we emphasize negotiation and cooperative problem-solving. We also believe in fighting for our clients, and our lawyers make clients' best interests a priority. Explore our site to learn more about our approach to divorce cases.
Keep reading for three big benefits of collaborative divorce.
#1: Couples Have More Agency & Control
When you go through a contested divorce, your divorce terms will be decided by a judge. You no longer have control over issues such as spousal support, child custody, and child support. This can be very difficult to deal with as the courts may not make the same decisions you and your ex would. While going to court and having a third party decide these issues may help couples in high-conflict situations, it is not ideal for many.
With a collaborative divorce, you and your ex retain control over your divorce terms. You work together to develop child support and custody agreements, parenting plans, and even spousal support agreements. If you are looking to retain greater agency over your divorce, collaborative divorce might be a good option for you.
#2: The Process Can Be More Efficient
In Colorado, divorce can take anywhere from 90 days to over a year. Contested divorces take an average of nine months, but it is not unheard of for them to take over a year to be completely resolved. The courts are notoriously slow. When major disputes arise, the process can be slowed down even more. When it comes to legal issues, time is money. The longer your divorce takes, the more costly it becomes. An uncontested divorce resolves much faster. Collaborative divorces can take as little as three months.
#3: Avoids the Winner/Loser Dynamic
In contested divorces, it is not uncommon for divorcing spouses to feel like they are fighting a battle that they must "win." With a collaborative model, the focus is on coming to solutions together and ensuring that the family's needs are met. With this more cooperative dynamic, teamwork and communication are emphasized, and you are less likely to end up in a contentious situation. This can reduce stress and conflict throughout the process.
The Drawbacks of Collaborative Divorce
While there are many benefits to the collaborative divorce method, it is not right for everyone. There are many situations in which it is unrealistic and impossible for couples to follow this model. Trying to force the collaborative method only results in frustration and added expense. When the collaborative approach fails, the couple ends up in court anyway, and the process is dragged out longer than necessary.
Before you decide to take the collaborative approach, you should speak with a lawyer. Our attorneys are well-versed in Colorado divorce law, and we are prepared to help you through your divorce. When you need guidance, turn to us.