Collaborative Divorce: Understanding the Basics

July 11, 2019 — by John Conger
Tags: Divorce Family Law

Divorcing your spouseMany people think of the end of a marriage as a fight, but there are many ways to dissolve a marriage. Not all divorces have to be battles. In fact, our divorce lawyers have helped many Walnut Creek and Stockton, CA couples with non-adversarial divorces. These kinds of divorces tend to be be faster and less expensive than divorces that involve standoffs and lengthy court battles.

The lawyers of Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP would like to consider collaborative divorces, which is one way to end a marriage amicably. We’ll note the advantages of the process and cases in which it may be best to seek this kind of divorce.

About Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce is a process that seeks to resolve conflicts without any sense of combativeness or the need to win. Rather than going before a judge and going through the litigation process, a collaborative divorce avoids the courts almost entirely.

Instead, a collaborative divorce creates a written agreement between the two spouses about the important aspects of the end of a marriage. Collaborative divorces can be considered a precursor or preparation to filing an uncontested divorce.

What to Expect from a Non-Adversarial Divorce

During a collaborative divorce, the spouses work with lawyers, financial experts, and psychologists to help craft a mutually agreeable set of terms for the dissolution of marriage. The spouses will share the costs of the collaborative divorce and will come to an agreement about the division of assets and debts as well as matters regarding their children.

If any disagreements do occur, a mediator may be brought in to help negotiate and reach a mutually agreeable compromise. Again, the goal is to keep matters cordial and non-adversarial.

The Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce

The key benefits of a collaborative divorce are as follows:

  • Less Stressful Than a Court Fight - Collaborative divorces are far less stressful than court battles over child custody, property division, and so forth. This is why it’s ideal for couples seeking an amicable split.
  • Saves Time - With fewer court dates and less back-and-forth arguing over the terms of the divorce, these kinds of non-adversarial divorces tend to be quick.
  • Saves Money - Time is money, especially when it comes to divorce proceedings. A collaborative divorce will be far less expensive than a traditional divorce case.
  • More Control Over the Process - In a traditional divorce, the courts get the most say in what happens when your marriage ends. With collaborative divorce, both spouses get more control over the terms of the end of their marriage.

When to Consider a Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorces tend to be best for couples seeking an uncontested divorce and an amicable split. In these cases, the spouses tend to have no hard feelings about the end of their marriage but simply could not make things work together as a married couple.

When Collaborative Divorce Is Not a Good Option

Collaborative divorce is not an ideal option when there are instances of abuse, addiction, or harm in a divorce. In cases where the well-being of one spouse or the children in the marriage are a real concern, collaboration is not possible or advisable.

Learn More About the Dissolution of Marriage

For more information about your legal options when ending a marriage, be sure to contact our team of family law attorneys. The team at Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP is here to help. You can reach our offices in Walnut Creek and Stockton at (209) 477-8171.