13 Sep Why the Collaborative Divorce Process Works
As a trained and certified collaborative divorce attorney, Elena Elliott strongly believes that the collaborative process is the best way to ‘write your own divorce.’ As a litigation attorney, I have seen firsthand the damage that can occur when families end up in court.
During the collaborative divorce process, various meetings occur for the parties to reach a solution that works specifically for their family. Collaborative attorneys must represent both parties. There is also a collaborative financial advisor that assists with separating the assets and determining what each party needs to set up a separate household.
If necessary, a child specialist will be involved to assist in determining the best parenting time schedule for your children. Where the court will not typically weigh in on issues such as religious upbringing or the day-to-day care of a child, parents in the collaborative process can be specific on what they agree upon for their children.
Typically, there are four to six meetings that occur for a period of two to three hours each. Our goal is to reach an agreement on the issues of custody, parenting time, property distribution, and financial support. To assist with this, a divorce coach meets with the parties individually, and together, and attends the meetings in order to work through the emotional aspects of divorce and to assist with how to best deal with each other and the children.
Each party is fully represented as to the legal issues related to divorce; however, the attorneys have agreed that there will be no litigation-in other words, this is a process to attempt to settle your divorce without a third party — usually a judge — making the decisions for you. There is no Court involvement except for the finalization of the divorce once an agreement is reached.
Once an agreement is reached, the divorce documents are filed with the Court. Usually, there is a six-month waiting period before a divorce with children can be finalized; however, through the Collaborative process, the Court will usually waive this waiting time.
Studies have shown that when a couple reaches an agreement, they are less likely to have issues in the future as they continue to co-parent the children.