In our last blog post, we explained what each member of the collaborative divorce team does, However, because collaborative divorce is relatively new when compared to traditional, litigated divorce and mediation, there are some misconceptions and myths about how the process works and whether choosing a collaborative divorce is a smart decision.
Here are some common myths about collaborative divorce – and the real facts!
1. My legal interests aren’t protected unless I go to court.
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse are each represented by independent attorneys who have special training and practice in family and divorce law as well as collaborative divorce. With the law as a guide, your collaborative divorce attorney will help you and your spouse find a legal, enforceable solution to your divorce while also finding creative options that are not available in a litigated divorce.
2. We can’t collaborate unless my spouse and I agree on everything.
It’s normal for divorcing couples to have significant disagreements and disputes. That does not mean a court has to resolve those disputes. Because collaborative divorce negotiations are conducted in highly structured, face-to-face meetings between the couple, their attorneys, and other members of the collaborative team, conflict can be contained and solutions are more easily found. Each meeting will be based upon a written, agreed-upon agenda and will be followed up with minutes that accurately reflect what was said and what was agreed upon. Each meeting builds on the last so that we are always moving forward.
3. We have a complicated, high net-worth portfolio. I need to be sure I’m protected financially.
A neutral financial professional is part of your collaborative divorce team. He or she will have expertise in sophisticated financial divorce issues. We will make sure all necessary documents are gathered, all assets are properly valued and equitably distributed, and that the right amount of support is being paid to allow all family members to maintain the pre-marital lifestyle if possible. The collaborative process requires honesty and transparency, so neither party has an advantage over the other.
4. Collaborative divorce is more expensive than litigated divorce because of all the team members.
Going to court in a litigated divorce can be extremely expensive due to the time and resources needed to prepare and give arguments to the divorce judge. With a divorce collaboration team, your divorce lawyers – who often bill at the highest rate of your divorce team – spend less time on your case because the other professionals provide key services and information to prepare for your divorce negotiation. All divorce can be expensive. But often a collaborative divorce will save you turmoil, time and money when compared to a traditional divorce.
How you choose to negotiate your divorce process will affect the short and long-term results. Collaborative divorce offers options that do not exist in traditional litigation. To discuss whether or not a collaborative divorce is the right option for you, contact us today.