1. What is a Collaborative Divorce?
A collaborative Divorce is one in which the parties do not go to Court.
2. Can a Collaborative Divorce be more Beneficial?
Absolutely. If both parties are willing to engage in good faith, reasonable settlement negotiations with full disclosure then it is the best possible route.
3. How does Collaborative Divorce Work?
A collaborative divorce is deemed as one by placing the wording on the Petition for Dissolution that is filed with the Court. Once that happens the court is aware that the parties have agreed to stay out of court.
The attorneys then begin the divorce process by exchanging all financial documents voluntarily and being open and honest about all assets and debts in the case. Subsequently, once the financials are exchanged the parties then negotiate a division of assets and debts to reach a resolution.
4. What if The Parties and Counsel Cannot Agree to an Issue?
If parties and counsel cannot agree to an issue then a neutral third party specialist can be brought in to assist. For example, if division of a certain asset or debt is creating the problem then a financial specialist or forensic accountant can be retained to assist the parties in determining what the separate property or community property interest is of the certain asset with a proposal of what the division should be. Another example would be to retain a parenting plan coordinator if the parties cannot agree to a custody schedule. If neither of those work then the parties still have other options than standard court litigation which are discussed below.
5. What is the Case Cannot Settle?
There is still an option outside of filing in court if the case still cannot settle. The parties can agree to go to binding arbitration where a retired judge is retained and he/she makes a binding decision on the matter just as a judge in court. The difference is that binding arbitration is more of an informal setting such as a conference room of a designated place and a lot of the formal court procedures are waived. Since binding arbitration does not require the parties to go off of the court schedule which can be lengthy and delay matters the parties end up spending less money.