When a couple wants to divorce and agrees on most terms, taking the case to court may feel like a waste of time and money.
In such an instance, it might benefit all parties to instead opt for a collaborative divorce. This option allows for a couple to skip the court and deal with matters on their own.
Defining collaborative divorces
Cornell Law School looks into collaborative divorce as an option for couples to avoid court. In this form of divorce, both members of the couple will hire their own personal representative. These representatives will then speak on their behalf in divorce negotiations. All meetings about the divorce will happen between the four members of this arrangement.
Representatives will discuss matters of high contention such as alimony or child support payments, custody or visitation schedules, and the division of debts or assets between the couple.
Will it work for you?
Generally speaking, the fewer arguments a couple has, the better collaborative divorce will work. Personal representatives can help with some conflict, but on a whole, they do not want to spend the bulk of their time ensuring that the divorcing couple is not at one another’s throats.
They may hire on a mediator or suggest for the couple to hire a mediator if arguments tend to spiral out of control or seem particularly heated. This can help, but it is not a guaranteed way to make collaborative divorce work.
However, for couples who can still work together and can compromise in order to reach mutually agreeable decisions, this option may prove a good way to avoid the stress of a court case.