Should You Choose a Collaborative Divorce?

Although most people have heard about, or even witnessed, the horrors of an antagonistic divorce, not every marriage ends bitterly or with a lot of fighting. For some, a collaborative divorce is a better option. This type of divorce doesn't pit the legal teams of both spouses against each other. Instead, the lawyers mediate and negotiate the divorce terms in a way that is much more amicable. Read on to find out more and to discover if this is a good option for you.

Court Judgments Are Kept at a Minimum

One risk of going to court is that the judge may not agree with an equal or a fair division of property, money or even child custody. In a collaborative divorce, you and your ex agree at the outset to stay out of court. Instead, you, your ex, and the lawyers work together to hammer out a divorce agreement, ensuring your desires are heard and taken into consideration. You only go to court for the uncontested proceeding for the final divorce judgment.

Proceedings Are Less Invasive and Less Stressful

This is especially important if there are children involved. Mediation meetings tend to take less time than court proceedings, and you have more control over when these meetings occur. This means you can schedule them for times when you have fewer commitments, which leads to less stress. You and your ex may also be able to reach an agreement much more quickly if you are working together with your lawyers, instead of against each other. This lowers stress, helps prevent anxiety, and causes less upheaval in your daily life.

Collaboration Can Help Prevent Problems Later

There is a sense of ownership when you work together to come up with an agreement. This can help prevent later feelings of bitterness against your ex, since you know anything that happens is in part because you agreed to it. A friendlier divorce is especially important if you have children, since bitterness and animosity between parents can cause stress in a child's life.

When to Avoid Collaboration

Although collaborative divorces can be beneficial for many people, they aren't for everyone. If there is any history or threat of abuse, it is better to go through standard divorce proceedings.

You may also want to opt for the standard divorce if you suspect your spouse of hiding assets or feel as though they may seek to take advantage of you during the agreement phase. For a collaborative divorce to work, both parties must be able to stay honest and to speak up about their wants, needs, and expectations during the proceeding.

Contact a family law attorney, like one from Attorney Steven N. Long, P.C., if you think a collaborative divorce is an option that may work for you.