Collaborative Divorce FAQs
Q: What is “collaborative divorce”?
A: Collaborative divorce is a method for ending your marriage amicably and without the stress and financial burdens of litigation. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses and their respective attorneys work together and with outside experts (such as financial and family planners) in order to reach a divorce settlement that lays the groundwork for an amicable split and allows the spouses to remain on good terms after their marriage is over.
Q: Who can benefit from the collaborative divorce process?
A: Most divorcing couples can benefit from using the collaborative divorce process. Generally speaking, a collaborative divorce will be quicker, less expensive, and less stressful than a traditional litigated divorce. These are benefits that should be attractive to both spouses even in unpleasant circumstances. Parents will often see a particular benefit in using the collaborative method to establish a parenting plan and maintain a working relationship that serves the best interests of their children.
Q: How can I get my spouse on board with a collaborative divorce?
A: Participation in the collaborative process is a two-way street, and if you are interested in pursuing a collaborative divorce, you potentially have a number of options for getting your spouse on board. If you and your spouse are on good terms, discussing the benefits and the process can help move you toward an agreement to pursue a collaborative divorce. If your spouse is resistant, your attorney may be able to talk with your spouse’s attorney about using the collaborative process.
Q: What happens if my spouse and I cannot reach an agreement through the collaborative process?
A: Let us start by saying that the collaborative process usually works. When divorcing spouses have committed to pursuing an amicable resolution, they are usually able to use the collaborative approach to come to terms. If, however, their discussions break down, the collaborative process requires both spouses to hire new legal representation to take their divorce to court.
Q: Is a collaborative divorce expensive?
A: The financial costs of divorce are dependent upon a variety of factors, and we cannot necessarily say whether your divorce will be “expensive” if you and your spouse choose the collaborative process. What we can say, however, is that the collaborative process is designed to be – and usually is – significantly less expensive than going through litigation and fighting for your desired outcome at trial.
Q: Is it necessary for my spouse and I each to hire separate attorneys?
A: Yes. While the goal of the collaborative process is to reach an amicable resolution, it is still critical that you each have independent legal representation. Even if you and your spouse believe you are completely on the same page about your divorce, (i) you need to make sure you have not overlooked any important issues, and (ii) you need to make sure your lawyer only has your best interests in mind. While joint representation can work in some circumstances, it isn’t right for a collaborative divorce. There are simply too many conflicting interests, even when everyone has the same overall goal in mind.
Q: Where can I learn more about collaborative divorce?
A: If you would like more information about the collaborative divorce process, we encourage you to visit our Collaborative Divorce Resources. Here you will find links and information about:
- Ohio’s Collaborative Family Law Act of 2012 and the requirements to initiate a collaborative divorce.
- What to expect during your collaborative divorce, including the types of issues that can be resolved through the collaborative process.
- Additional resources available from the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), which is an organization devoted to promoting the collaborative process in divorces and other family law matters.
More Questions about Collaborative Divorce? Schedule a Free Consultation
The attorneys at Laubacher & Co. provide experienced legal representation for divorcing spouses in the Cleveland area. If you are contemplating a divorce and would like to learn more about the collaborative process, we invite you to call (855) 701-1004 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.