Divorce is a difficult process for every member of the family. Even when two parties are amicable and willing to work together on a divorce order, it can still be complicated and disputes can still arise. The traditional divorce process may not be appealing to you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, but there may be a better, more peaceful way to get through this process.
Collaborative divorce offers Pennsylvania couples a way to both avoid litigation and resolve issues in a way that is peaceful and respectful. Collaboration has many benefits, but it does require that both parties be willing and able to work together and talk through difficult divorce-related issues.
Collaborative versus traditional divorce
There are several major differences between a traditional and a collaborative divorce. While both parties will retain their own attorneys, the two spouses and their legal representation will work together throughout the process. In a collaborative divorce, the following will happen:
- Out-of-court agreements develop through confidential discussions and negotiations.
- A neutral third party is not a requirement in a collaborative divorce; the two spouses and their attorneys meet for face-to-face discussions.
- Per the participation agreement, if the collaborative process breaks down for any reason, the two attorneys must withdraw; the couple may then begin the traditional divorce process.
Generally, when both spouses can work together and collaborate on a divorce agreement that suits the needs of each party, it can cost less and be less stressful than a traditional divorce. However, this step is not the best choice for every couple. It can be beneficial to discuss this and other options before moving forward with a collaborative approach to the end of your marriage.
What if we don’t get along?
Some couples may assume that they cannot choose a collaborative divorce because they do not get along. In reality, it is possible to walk through this process without being friends or liking the other party. Because collaboration requires each party to have his or her own legal representation, you can lean on the support of your legal ally to work through the complex issues in a peaceful manner.
There is no such thing as an easy divorce, but there is a way to get through this major life event in a better way. Collaboration offers you a way to reach your ultimate goal of a strong and stable post-divorce future while avoiding a painful and lengthy court battle.