Contested divorce, the traditional divorce process also known as litigation divorce, is often mired with fear, hurt feelings, and anger that make an agreeable resolution difficult, if not impossible. Both parties communicate almost exclusively through attorneys and bargain from specific and often conflicting positions, backed by threats of “We’ll just leave it up to the judge!”. It is a stressful process that typically breeds and reinforces feelings of insecurity and animosity.
Luckily, a contested divorce is not the only option. A growing number of parting couples, along with other professionals such as lawyers, mental health professionals and financial specialists, have been seeking a more constructive option. These professionals have developed the Collaborative Divorce model.
Collaborative divorce is an alternative process that removes the element of litigation and settles cases respectfully, transparently and privately. Unlike a contested divorce, the Collaborative Practice dispute-resolution process is based on a pledge in which you, your spouse, and your attorneys contractually agree to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement without having courts decide issues. Your contractual commitments also include creating shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all, and maintaining open communication and information sharing.
The collaborative process also has the advantage of much more predictable and often significantly lower costs than contested divorce. Both spouses still have their own attorneys working on their behalf, but collaborative divorce involves a team of collaboratively trained attorneys, financial advisors, and divorce coaches from the beginning. This condenses expenses, rather than each party hiring individual professionals as needed.
Divorce is a very emotional event. Sometimes those emotions show up in the process which would be natural. Your collaborative divorce team can help spouses manage those emotions and keep the meeting discussions respectful. When respect is given and received, discussions are likely to be more productive and an agreement reached more easily, limiting cost in terms of stress and time in addition to money.
For more information about the collaborative process as an alternative to contested divorce, contact Collaborative Practice Kansas City, LLC today.