4 Ways Collaborative Divorce Differs from Traditional Divorce

There are a vast number of differences that distinguish collaborative divorce from more traditional, adversarial forms of divorce. It is a highly effective and beneficial process that does not work for every divorce situation, but is highly advantageous for those who are in a position to utilize it.

The Collaborative Law Model is a form of legal practice that was developed in the 1980s as an alternative form of dispute resolution from traditional litigation. It can be applied to nearly any form of legal dispute, with divorce being the most common. It is particularly effective for families that want to place their children’s needs at the forefront of any divorce proceedings, but need help and guidance to reach mutual understandings about the terms of the divorce.

Below we’ve detailed four key differences between collaborative divorce and traditional divorce.

1) No litigation

This is the biggest distinguishing factor between collaborative and traditional divorce. At the start of the collaborative process, each couple and their attorneys sign an agreement stating they will not, under any circumstances, file suit in court against one another. The attorneys agree that they will withdraw from the case if either party elects to litigate. This way, neither party can use intimidation or threats of a court battle as a negotiating tool. Traditional divorces, on the other hand, are built around litigation, which makes for an extremely adversarial process even if neither part wants it to be.

2) Freedom of information

Another agreement that every involved party signs is that they will have a free and open exchange of information without having to utilize formal requests or hearings to gain access to certain information. This prevents anyone from trying to hide things or trick the other person. Communication is key to executing a civilized and respectful divorce, and a free flow of information makes communication much easier. In a traditional divorce, each party will have to go through various court procedures to ascertain the information they need to negotiate a fair divorce, which takes time and can be extremely frustrating.

3) Professionals involved will do all they can to avoid judicial-decision making

In a collaborative divorce, each party will have an attorney representing them who is trained in the collaborative law model. These professionals, along with any other professionals involved in the case, agree to use their best skills to do everything they can to avoid having a judge make decisions. Collaborative law-trained lawyers will help couples reach reasonable and equitable agreements, whereas a traditional divorce will rely on a judge to make all the rulings about the terms of the divorce.

4) Respect

By electing to utilize collaborative divorce, each person is agreeing to proceed with their divorce with respect for one another, as well as respect for their spouse’s goals and needs. Rather than approaching the divorce from a “me vs. you” perspective, as is the case with traditional divorce, parties agree to account for what the other person wants and needs instead of fighting only for what they themselves want. This sets a positive example for children and allows for more creative and fair terms in executing your divorce.

Collaborative divorce can be a wonderful tool to help prevent your split from devolving into a viciously contested courtroom battle. There are numerous benefits, often including better cost and efficiency, compared to traditional divorces. Collaborative divorce is not right for every situation, so please contact us to discuss your options and figure out if a collaborative solution for your divorce is right for your family.

Written by Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce

Our passion is helping individuals like you resolve your divorce and family law challenges with as little stress as possible. We understand that this is a difficult time in your life and we strive to give you predictability and peace of mind throughout all legal proceedings. One of the key ways in which we deliver that experience is by customizing our approach to fit your exact needs.