Monday, 5 November 2012

Who would benefit the most from a collaborative divorce?

A collaborative divorce might be right for you and your spouse if:

  • You wish to have legal representation during the entire process 
  • You want to be in control of critical decisions regarding your lives and the lives of your family members. 
  • You want to operate on your own timetable, and not the court’s. 
  • You want to come to a settlement agreement using open communication and a spirit of cooperation toward solving problems. 
  • After the divorce is final, you want two households that are functional and can successfully co-parent your children. 
  • You don’t want to be entering into agreements under the threat of going to trial. 
  • You want to maintain privacy and confidentiality with the details of your divorce.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Isn’t a collaborative divorce really only beneficial in cases where both parties are already in agreement on most everything?

Not necessarily. While it is true that the collaborative process should not be used in cases where there is abuse of any kind or heavy conflict, a certain level of hurt, anger and frustration is normal in almost all divorces. During these situations, the collaborative process gives the spouses and their lawyers options that they would not otherwise have access to if they were doing a traditional court-based divorce. If anger does become an issue during the collaborative process, the lawyers will suggest that one or both participants get help from a therapist who can help them address their struggles with anger.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Does a collaborative divorce cost more or less than mediation?

Since mediation only involves three parties (the two spouses and the mediator), and does not typically involve an attorney, in most cases it will be less expensive than a collaborative divorce. However, even in mediation, hiring an outside attorney to act as a mediation consultant is also an option. In these types of cases, the cost of mediation may not be all that much cheaper that the collaborative process.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Most attorneys claim that they reach a settlement in the majority of their cases. Assuming that is true, how does a collaborative divorce differ from a traditional court-based divorce?

There is a major difference between the way collaborative and traditional litigation cases are
settled. A traditional case may end up with a settlement, but it usually happens right as both
parties are behind the eight ball and about the go into court. At that point, a lot of time, effort, and
money have already been spent and a lot of ill feelings have often developed between the two
parties. The settlement is usually done under fear of what may happen if they end up going to trial
(which less than five percent of cases ever do). This makes for a settlement that is often not well
thought out and one that may cause lots of regret later on.

A collaborative divorce, by contrast, is set up from the start in an atmosphere that fosters
mutual cooperation and respect. This allows the parties to resolve their differences creatively
and in a low-stress manner. In addition, the attorneys involved, while acting as advocates, are
also working hard toward reaching a fair settlement that allows both sides to get their deepest
concerns addressed.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Hiding assets during a divorce

Great article related to spouses hiding assets during a divorce from Janet Baker of the Collaborative Law Group of Southern Arizona.

Friday, 25 May 2012

How does Collaborative Divorce focus on the future?

Collaborative Divorce is forward thinking in its solutions, particularly when there are minor children involved.  Parents will deal with each other regularly so long as there are minor children.  Even when minor children reach adulthood there are multiple occasions when the involvement of both parents in the child’s life is helpful.

In regard to minor children, parents need to cooperate in meeting their health care needs such as regular appointments with the pediatrician, regular dental visits, optical check-ups, orthodontia appointments, and possibly counseling.  At times there will be emergency or surgical needs for such things as tubes for the ears, tonsillectomies, appendicitis, broken bones or other types of sports related injuries, and a host of other possible health care needs.

The education of minor children is a top priority for parents, and each parent has a responsibility to assist in the education of their children.  Collaborative Divorce also permits parents to address the needs of their children regarding college education, and to reach agreements regarding each parent’s role in providing financial and other types of practical support to their children. 

The extra-curricular activities of minor children such as sports, music, theater, dance, art, gymnastics, swim team, and any other interest that a child may have can be addressed.  These activities often overlap both parents’ parenting time, and require cooperation and commitment of time and financial resources by both parents.  It is important for both parents to be able to participate in these decisions, and to both attend events that promote their individual relationship with each child.

When children have special needs such as learning disabilities, and mental or physical handicaps, the need for parental involvement and support may well go past the age of majority.  These children may require constant care and supervision, financial support, and a plan for their care beyond the death of their parents.

The Collaborative Divorce process recognizes that the parenting needs of children change as the children become older and more mature.  The collaborative process can address these needs for change in a way that continues to maintain a close relationship with both parents, while permitting more independence for the children.

Adult children of divorce can have a litany of bad experiences from dealing with their divorced parents.  Collaborative Divorce makes every effort to avoid those bad memories.  Parents in a Collaborative Divorce are reminded to think of their future with their adult children so that both parents can comfortably and peacefully attend their adult children’s weddings, showers, events with future grandchildren such as christenings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, and a host of other events in their adult children’s lives.

Collaborative divorces in situations where couples have no children are also forward looking.  The goal is to avoid resentment, hardship, and bitterness, and to place the spouses each in a position where they can flourish emotionally and financially.  Each spouse should receive compassion and respect from the other, and be given the opportunity for a healthy future.