Almost every day there is a news headline about divorcing celebrities. Typically the celebrities are fighting over finances, children or both, in court and in social media. The divorce wars can go on for years.
While celebrities are a privileged few, divorce wars occur all too commonly in courts throughout the country.
Sparring spouses rarely receive everything they want in a divorce court, and they will spend large amounts of money fighting.
Are you considering, or involved in a pending divorce? You don’t have to be part of the divorce wars. There is another option. Collaborative Divorce is a better way.
What is Collaborative Divorce? Collaborative Divorce (also called collaborative law) is a voluntary alternative settlement dispute process where parties commit to resolving divorce issues outside of court. Instead of using the traditional adversarial court system, the parties, assisted by their individual collaborative attorneys, work together cooperatively as a team with the commitment to settle their divorce issues.
Collaborative Divorce was developed in the 1990’s and has since become popular throughout the country and worldwide. Colorado has adopted the uniform collaborative law statute for use in this state. Link to C.R.S § 13-24-101 et seq.
Is Collaborative Divorce for you? Collaborative Divorce is a voluntary process. Both parties must commit to participating in the process. Collaborative Divorce involves the same issues as a conventional divorce, but focuses on meeting unique needs and interests. It recognizes that while marriages may end, relationships remain.
What are the benefits to me?
- No court involvement, except to finalize the divorce agreement,
- Minimizing financial and emotional cost of prolonged litigation conflict,
- Reduction of stress while working with a supportive team,
- Control of the divorce process on your time table,
- Management of conflict to find solutions workable for the family,
- Finding solutions that are tailored to your family’s unique needs,
- A civilized and respectful resolution to the divorce,
- Privacy and confidentiality,
- Reduced time and cost,
- And most importantly, protecting your children from harmful conflict that is associated with litigation.
What is the process?
A Collaborative Divorce utilizes a team approach to problem solving and finding solutions. Each party is represented by an attorney trained in collaborative divorce. The client has the benefit of advice of their own individual lawyer. The lawyers and parties work together during joint meetings to gather information, identify issues and goals, and to negotiate a settlement. A neutral facilitator is engaged to assist the parties in working through difficult issues, and neutral experts may be retained jointly to provide opinions on financial and parenting matters.
Is a Collaborative Divorce suitable for every divorce case? No. A Collaborative Divorce doesn’t magically resolve a divorce. A Collaborative Divorce requires a commitment of purpose, time, and effort in finding solutions to disputed issues and in reaching common sense agreements. Where litigation is a predictable outcome, Collaborative Divorce is not a good choice. Collaborative Divorce is not suitable in cases involving hiding of assets or domestic violence. Collaborative Divorce lawyers will carefully assess and advise you whether your case is a good candidate for collaborative law before recommending the Collaborative Divorce approach.
What is the next step for me? If you are interested in the benefits of a collaborative divorce, schedule a consultation with a collaborative divorce attorney, who can assess your case and advise you of all your divorce options, and how to proceed with a Collaborative Divorce if you choose that divorce alternative.
Diane Carlton is Special Counsel at Griffiths Law. She has over 40 years of experience dedicated to helping clients and their families move through the difficult process of divorce. Diane is compassionate and works closely with clients to reach a constructive and productive resolution of their case.