A collaborative divorce is an affordable alternative to financially and emotionally costly traditional litigation. The collaborative process is based on a pledge in which you, your spouse, and your attorneys contractually agree that you and your attorneys will not go to court, except to finalize the divorce. By removing courtroom drama from the equation and working together to reach agreements that work for everyone, you can save a great deal of time and money.
In a traditional contested divorce, you and your spouse must often communicate through your attorneys, which can lead to miscommunication and delay, as well as racking up those expensive billable hours every step of the way. In a collaborative divorce, on the other hand, you negotiate directly with the help of your attorneys and other professionals on your team – a financial analyst and a divorce coach. You still each retain your own counsel to provide legal advice and represent your interests, but simply having everyone at the table at once saves a considerable amount of time. As we all know, time is money – especially when attorneys are involved.
Even in uncontested divorces, financial analysts are often necessary to help the divorcing couple understand their financial situation and make sound decisions. Likewise, even the most amicable separations can bring up complicated feelings and emotions that get in the way of equitable negotiations or parenting plans, and which require the help of mental health professionals to overcome. Working with one team of interdisciplinary professionals committed to the collaborative process saves money not only by not having to hire separate advisors, but by making sure no stone is unturned in the divorce process. This significantly reduces the odds of having to return to court to smooth out additional details at a later date, and at additional expense.
The overall cost of a collaborative divorce often depends more on the divorcing couple’s active participation, transparency, and commitment to the best outcome for the family than how many professionals are included on the team or how complex the issues are. If the spouses participate in the process in good faith and cooperate with their professional team members, the overall costs may be a great deal less than if they are uncommunicative, argumentative, or dishonest. For this reason, a collaborative divorce may not be ideal when there is extreme animosity and mistrust between divorcing partners, or when one or both are unwilling to work towards interest-based resolution.
Collaborative Practice Kansas City, LLC is a greater Kansas City community of independent legal, financial, and mental health professionals working together to create client-centered processes for resolving divorce conflict. To find out if collaborative divorce is right for you, contact our team today.