Collaborative Divorce

Image of conference table & chairs with text stating: Collaborative Divorce - A viable alternative for couples seeking an out-of-court solution to end their marriage.

What is Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is divorce mediation where both spouses are represented by their own attorney who has been trained and certified in the collaborative divorce process. Parties meet individually with their attorney to discuss the issues that require resolution, their positions on the issues, and confidentiality is always maintained. The parties and counsel then meet and attempt to negotiate the issues to a fair and equitable resolution.

Often, other collaborative divorce experts such as a financial collaborative professional or parent coordinator becomes involved in the collaborative divorce process.

If agreement is ultimately reached, it is reduced to a written settlement agreement and provided to the court for an uncontested divorce.

If agreement cannot be reached via the collaborative process, the divorce becomes a contested divorce. The collaborative attorneys are prohibited from representing their clients in a contested divorce and new counsel must be retained.

Advantages of Collaborative Divorce

  • Control – Collaborative divorce allows the spouses to have more control over the outcome of their divorce. They can negotiate and formulate solutions that work for both of them, rather than having a judge make decisions for them.
  • Less adversarial – Collaborative divorce is generally less confrontational than traditional litigation. This can decrease the emotional strain on both parties and potentially foster a more amicable relationship after the divorce.
  • Cost-effective – Collaborative divorce can be less expensive than a traditional litigated divorce as it usually requires fewer court appearances and less time spent on legal motions and other related expenses.
  • Confidentiality – The collaborative process can be kept confidential which can be particularly important for couples who want to keep their personal lives private.

Examples of Matters Suitable for the Collaborative Divorce Process

  • Child custody and visitation rights
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Division of property
  • Division of debt
  • Retirement accounts
  • Business interests
  • Tax issues
  • Estate planning

Collaborative Divorce Is Not for Everyone

While collaborative divorce can be a great option for many couples, it is not always the best choice. For example, if there is a history of domestic violence or abuse in the relationship, it may not be safe for both parties to negotiate directly. In such cases, the safety of the victim(s) should be prioritized and traditional litigation may be necessary.

Overall, however, collaborative divorce can be an effective way for couples to work through their issues and reach a mutually beneficial solution. For those who can work together and commit to the process, collaborative divorce can provide a more amicable and respectful way to end a marriage.

Collaborative Divorce Attorney in Westchester County

If you are seeking a collaborative divorce attorney in Westchester County who is committed to helping you navigate the process with empathy and respect, contact Shari R. Gordon, Esq. today. Call 914-962-2722 or email Shari Gordon is skilled in the area of collaborative divorce and will help you achieve an agreement that works for you and your family. She is a member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals (NYACP).

Shari Gordon Law
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