When getting divorced, there are several different approaches that a couple can choose. Some people opt for mediation to try to resolve their disputes and save them money. Others, take the traditional approach and opt for attorneys to handle everything. There is another approach that is less known but can be quite effective – collaborative law. Collaborative law, unlike mediation, involves two attorneys similar to the traditional approach. What makes collaborative law different, however, is that both spouses agree from day one that they want to settle everything out of court. They formalize this agreement in writing with their attorneys wherein they agree that they will make any and all efforts to resolve their issues involving divorce, custody, and support out of court. While they always reserve the option to go to court if they cannot reach an agreement, there is a hefty price to pay – loss of representation by both side’s attorneys. Even if one party is still willing to work it out of court, both spouse’s and their attorneys agree that if one of the parties decides to litigate, both attorneys will withdraw from the case and both parties will have to start over with new attorneys.
This option is a great option for parties who are both committed to settling their differences out of court but want the benefit of having legal advice that mediation does not provide. When hiring an attorney, you should ask if they are willing to handle collaborative law cases if this is an option that appeals to both you and your spouse.