Collaborative Divorce: Frequently Asked Questions
In collaborative divorce, there are frequently asked questions that as a client, you should know the answers to. Collaborative divorce allows spouses and their attorneys to commit to resolving family legal issues reasonably and fairly without litigation through the court system. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I receive:
- Why should I consider Collaborative Divorce? In this method, spouses are able to work together to create lasting resolutions for their family’s future, without the arguing and fighting that a traditional divorce is known for. This alternative dispute resolution method actually helps spouses to communicate their needs and move forward together.
- How does this process differ from a traditional divorce? In a traditional divorce, spouses and their attorneys actively position themselves to become more favorable in the eyes of the judge. This can easily increase hostility and fighting between spouses. In contrast, the collaborative method is a “no-fight” process, where spouses and their attorneys sign an agreement that states explicitly that they will not enter into the adversarial process and will only work together to create a solid plan and resolution for their future. Unlike a traditional divorce, this method never enters a courtroom and the decision-making control stays in the spouses’ hands instead of ceding it over to a judge.
- How does Collaborative Divorce focus on the future and children? In this process, spouses work together to create the best solutions for their family’s needs. No two families are alike, and their needs require creative solutions. In this process, children are able to see that while their parents are no longer together, they are actively participating and working towards their family’s needs and goals in a calm and efficient manner. This allows children to continue to trust in their parent’s ability to be there for them in rough seasons of life.
- Is Collaborative Divorce cheaper than a traditional divorce? Yes, collaborative divorce is typically more cost-effective than traditional divorce because lawyer fees through a traditional divorce will be higher than in the collaborative method. The collaborative method is an interdisciplinary approach which uses a financial neutral to gather all pertinent financial information and costs less than if your attorney would gather this information.
I know that divorce is hard no matter which method you choose. I have been practicing family law for more than 40 years. I helped to introduce the benefits of the collaborative method into the state of Missouri in 2001, and have seen the good that comes from this method. If you are in the Kansas City area and have further questions about collaborative divorce, contact me, Hugh O’Donnell, today to schedule a consultation, or call me at (816) 533-5152 with any questions regarding your divorce.