What Is Collaborative Divorce?

Divorce can be highly adversarial. Divorcing couples must decide on such issues as alimony, property division, custody, and child support. It is because of these conflicts that many divorces take so long, cost so much, and cause so much distress to the family. But there are other options for divorce. Alternative dispute resolution is a way for people to settle legal issues without the need for traditional litigation. Among the alternative dispute resolution methods put into practice in divorce law, collaborative divorce has been gaining in popularity for its many benefits over traditional divorce litigation.

Still relatively new to the field, collaborate divorce is a way for couples to divorce with less conflict and more participation from both parties. Collaborative divorce is largely non-adversarial. Instead of both spouses fighting for what they want in court, they, in addition to their respective divorce teams, work on negotiating an agreement on issues such as custody and property division. This agreement can then be entered with the court to finalize the divorce. A divorce team is a team of professional that protects the spouse’s interests throughout the process. A typical divorce team might include a divorce attorney, a financial planner, an accountant, and a divorce coach. The purpose of the diversity of the divorce team is to ensure the agreement reached is favorable to both spouses.

Collaborative divorce is entirely voluntary. Either spouse may terminate the process at any point but will be asked to put in a good faith effort into avoiding litigation. The approach to the divorce from the collaborative divorce standpoint is that of a business negotiation. It differs from mediation in that the spouses rely on a team of professionals to help guide their decision making rather than making all the decisions on their own with the support of a mediator. There is no neutral third party in a collaborative divorce, but each spouse’s attorney can help ensure they can achieve a favorable agreement.

If a couple reaches an agreement in the collaborative divorce process, that agreement can then be merged with a final divorce judgment, so it is legally enforceable. This ensures a higher level of confidentiality than divorce litigation can provide and can help protect your child from unnecessary conflict associated with courtroom battles.

Although collaborative divorce can save couples the time and cost of divorce litigation, it should not be attempted without skilled legal guidance. You will not have a mediator to help you resolve conflict, nor will you have a judge who can make a final decision. For these reasons, it is essential you work with a skilled New Jersey divorce attorney in the process. Speak with an attorney about your options for divorce so you can make sure you choose the option that is right for you and your family.

Do you have questions about divorce? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can explain your options for divorce in New Jersey and help you navigate the divorce process from start to finish. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8404, email us at info@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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