What is a “collaborative divorce”?

You might have heard the term “collaborative divorce,” but what does it really mean?

There are generally 2 options available for spouses seeking a collaborative divorce.

  1. The conventional collaborative divorce process as defined by New Jersey statute signed into law in September 2014.

This process involves the use of a “team” with the shared goal of helping both spouses reach a mutually beneficial divorce agreement.

The “team” consists of a collaboratively trained attorney for each spouse and typically include a divorce “coach”, a mental health professional who can help the spouses manage emotions and monitor the pace of the process.  Additional neutral professionals might include a financial specialist to generate options for the division of assets and liabilities and include cash flow analyses and valuation of any businesses; and a child specialist to help develop a constructive parenting plan.

In the conventional collaborative divorce process, the couple signs a formal “Participation Agreement” committing to the collaborative divorce process and acknowledging that if an agreement is not reached, each attorney is disqualified and the couple must retain new attorneys to engage in the litigation process.

A complete description of this process is described in my eBook here.

   2.   Similar to the conventional collaborative divorce process above except there is no formal Participation Agreement signed.

Therefore, if an agreement is not reached, each spouse could still use their respective attorneys if they engage in litigation.

Further, it is not necessary for the attorneys to have formal collaborative divorce training.

Generally, however, without such training, there is less likelihood of reaching a settlement without court intervention.

Regardless of which option is used, the spouses are free to resolve their divorce out of court by using any combination of litigation, negotiation, mediation, and/or collaborative divorce (without the signing of a Participation Agreement).

To learn about the available options and which strategy would best facilitate divorce without court, call us directly or click “schedule” for a customized action plan.

 

 

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