So often, the idea of divorce is associated with long, drawn out court battles. But in reality, the vast majority of divorce matters are settled rather than proceeding to trial. A settlement can be achieved in a number of ways, such as simple negotiation between attorneys and/or clients; litigation followed by mediation; or mediation alone. And then there’s the latest form of alternative dispute resolution to become available, known as collaborative divorce. Many people ask about collaborative divorce, but most don’t understand the details involved in the process.
Collaborative divorce professionals must be specially trained.
In a collaborative divorce, it is common to involve more professionals than simply the attorneys. What type of professionals you might want to include in your case depends on your specific set of circumstances. If one or both of you feels that you may benefit from someone being present for additional emotional support, you may want to include a therapist or counselor. If there are complicated financial issues, you may want to engage an accountant or financial planner. Of course, you will also each be represented by an attorney in this process. What all of these individuals will have in common is that they have been trained in collaborative divorce. An attorney who has not been collaboratively trained cannot participate in the process. Therefore, if you decide that you want to proceed with a collaborative divorce, be sure that you retain a collaboratively trained divorce attorney.
If the collaborative process fails, you must start over with new attorneys.
One aspect of collaborative divorce that many individuals do not know is that if the collaborative divorce fails – meaning that you are unable to reach a resolution to your case – you need to start over with new attorneys. This means that you cannot simply have your collaborative divorce attorney move ahead with litigation by filing a complaint for divorce. You would need to retain entirely new counsel to represent you in that matter.
Collaborative divorce may be more costly.
Due to the fact that additional individuals, such as counselors and financial planners, are required for the process, a collaborative divorce may result in being more costly. You will likely need to pay a retainer – or at the very least, the hourly rate – for all individuals who are involved in the case. In most non-collaborative divorce cases, you pay just for your attorney’s time and perhaps an expert if it’s determined that one is needed.
If you are interested in pursuing a collaborative divorce, contact the attorneys at DeTorres & DeGeorge to schedule a consultation.