You may have heard about the idea of collaborative divorce, but with all of the information out there about different divorce methods, how do you choose the right one for your situation? Collaborative divorce is just one way to complete the property division process and negotiate other agreements for child custody, child support and spousal support. This method has some advantages over traditional litigation; namely, it is less expensive and time-consuming. If you are a Pennsylvania couple who is anticipating an uncontested or amicable divorce, the collaborative approach might be for you.

Collaborative divorce proceeds in a series of traditional steps that parallel litigation. First, the spouses generally hires their own attorneys to represent their interests. You should definitely meet with your attorney privately in order to determine your goals for child support, property division and other attributes of your divorce.

After you meet independently with your own lawyers, you and your attorney will likely meet with your spouse and his or her attorney. These meetings will occur regularly until all aspects of the divorce are decided. These meetings may include neutral financial professionals and child custody specialists to help facilitate the process.

Collaborative law methods can be advantageous for couples who feel comfortable negotiating in an informal setting. These approaches can save money and time by improving the open flow of information between spouses. All too often, litigation divorces seem to involve deception and aggressiveness; collaborative law circumvents that issue.

Further, collaborative law methods allow you to be the final decision makers in matters of child custody and property division. If you choose the litigation route, a judge could end up assigning child custody, offering a less-than-ideal scenario that could have been avoided through negotiation. Take control of your divorce — and save yourself some headaches — by considering mediation during your breakup.

Source: FindLaw, “How Collaborative Divorce Works: FAQs” Sep. 30, 2014