Collaborative Divorce

Divorce has become synonymous with painful, costly conflict, triggering years of emotional and financial distress. However, the outcome can be much different when divorce is handled through a collaborative process instead of traditional litigation.

Instead of working at odds with each other, parties work together with their attorneys in collaborative divorce to resolve issues through discussion so they can develop custom solutions that work best for both parties going forward.

At Reade Law Firm, PC, we understand how to help clients reach their goals through a wide range of processes and how to take the best advantage of the opportunities offered through collaborative divorce. Parties emerge from collaborative divorce on a solid footing, positioned to move forward without the resentment that often accompanies divorce.

How the Collaborative Process Works in Divorce

Collaborative divorce offers the best of both worlds: the benefits of the legal assistance and advocacy provided in the litigation process and the cooperative atmosphere of a mediation proceeding. Each spouse works with an attorney trained in the collaborative process, unlike mediation, where parties negotiate arrangements on their own. Both attorneys will be focused on their own client’s best interests. However, instead of fighting each other in the hopes of receiving the judge’s favor, the attorneys will negotiate on behalf of their clients to derive mutually beneficial solutions.

In addition to each spouse and their respective attorneys, the process includes one or more neutral parties. A facilitator, sometimes referred to as a coach, often facilitates sessions and keeps discussions moving toward resolution. Other neutral parties may include a financial advisor to help with the numerous financial judgments and decisions in the divorce process. Sometimes, the team also includes a mental health professional who can help parties see and process the factors underlying the conflict so they can move forward toward resolution.

The Roles of Your Collaborative Divorce Team

The process begins by meeting with a collaborative divorce attorney to discuss the background and functions of the proceedings. Richard Reade is a member of the North Shore Collaborative Divorce group, and professionals in this group offer a free half-hour consultation to help clients learn how the collaborative process works and determine if it is the right choice for the situation.

A collaborative divorce lawyer gets to know each client’s specific needs and goals and explains how the law applies to the situation, just as an attorney would in divorce litigation. The other spouse will need to hire their own attorney because each attorney will be focused on achieving the best outcome for their own client. However, they will not be preparing for trial or an adversarial proceeding, which keeps the focus on settlement solutions and allows for creative thinking.

The facilitator or coach will help in a variety of ways. This may include helping spouses identify goals and pinpoint precise areas of conflict. A financial professional can help by suggesting effective options for property division and support. This can be particularly helpful when one or both spouses operate closely held businesses. A mental health professional can help parties address and overcome the emotional obstacles preventing them from reaching agreements on particular issues. The team might also include professionals with focused knowledge, such as a child specialist or real estate appraiser.

Collaborative Divorce Keeps You in Control

Developing the terms of a divorce through cooperation rather than competition preserves family relationships and reduces stress and anger. That is the benefit that clients often find most attractive about the process initially. However, an equally important advantage of the collaborative divorce process is that it enables divorcing spouses to establish the terms they will live with going forward. Instead of a judge dividing household belongings or deciding on a schedule for shared custody, the spouses make these personal and critical decisions.

Because attorneys are focused on solutions instead of preparing to win in court, they can often help develop creative plans that satisfy both spouses. Since the terms incorporated into a divorce decree will have a tremendous impact on the life of both spouses for years, the ability to control these terms cannot be overrated. The collaborative divorce process provides attention to detail and creative compromise that cannot be replicated through any other process.

Reade Law Firm, PC Can Help You Gain the Full Benefits of the Collaborative Divorce Process

Divorce through traditional litigation often leaves both spouses with a load of anger and resentment that poisons their lives far into the future. By contrast, collaborative divorce creates a sense of empowerment and peace while providing divorce terms that meet the needs of both spouses in the short and long term. The team at Reade Law Firm, PC excels at protecting the interests of our clients throughout the collaborative divorce process. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about the advantages collaborative divorce could provide in your situation.