Divorces can be contentious and difficult, but people lucky enough to be amiable with their partner are increasingly choosing collaborative divorces. Just under a dozen states, including New Jersey, have green-lit this kinder, gentler path to marriage dissolution, so couples anticipating an easy separation may want to consider it.
What is a collaborative divorce?
In a collaborative divorce, a team of professionals works with both sides simultaneously. A family law attorney, financial planner and certified public accountant usually participate in the process. Families with children may need to include a child psychologist or parenting coordinator. The process is confidential, and both parties agree not to file court pleadings unless the collaborative process proves irrevocably unsuccessful.
Benefits of collaborative divorce
Why go with a collaborative divorce? There are three main benefits when it comes to the cost, court and children.
Since both parties use the same professionals, collaborative divorces cost less than traditional ones where everyone needs their own set of attorneys and advisors. If you want to save money, it may be the way to go.
A significant benefit of collaborative divorces is the lack of court time. In some cases, the attorney may handle nearly all the bureaucracy themselves, and court hearings are all but eliminated. You might be required to make a brief appearance at some point, but it’s nothing compared to the contentious court battles into which some divorces devolve.
Collaborative divorces tend to be more peaceable and low-key than traditional ones, and the dialed-down tone can be easier for children. Moreover, if everything works out, you don’t have to worry about the kids appearing in court.
Collaborative divorce downside
There’s no such thing as a perfect divorce solution, and collaborative divorces have one potential downside. If the process doesn’t work out, you’ll need to start over using the traditional court method, which can be costly.
Ending a marriage isn’t always a battle. If you’re “consciously uncoupling” and generally agree about who is getting what, then a collaborative divorce may be a great option.