It’s an ugly truth, but the truth nonetheless: 50% of all marriages end in divorce. For those involved in a divorce, you can follow one of two processes: a traditional divorce or a collaborative divorce. A traditional divorce involves the filing of a lawsuit, drafting pleadings, conducting discovery, attending court hearings and giving testimony under oath on the witness stand.
The attorney’s fees generated in a traditional divorce are largely dependent on the level of cooperation or lack thereof between the parties and their attorneys. In other words, the more you fight, the more you pay in fees. Another disadvantage of a traditional divorce is that the court process almost always results in increased acrimony between the parties, hurt feelings, and a public display of mudslinging. At Irons & Irons, we believe that family law matters should be handled amicably for all parties involved, including children.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a new approach that is gaining traction throughout the country and has been successfully utilized by divorcing couples to resolve all types of family law matters. Rather than engage in the adversarial court process, the parties sign a pledge agreeing that no court action will be initiated.
By choosing to go forward with a collaborative divorce, both sides and their attorneys work to resolve conflict by using cooperative techniques and respectful negotiations. The collaborative process seeks to minimize the transaction costs associated with a divorce and reduce the level of animosity and ill-will between the parties. Be sure to check out our blog article “What is Collaborative Divorce?” to learn more.
How Collaborative Divorce Works
When a couple chooses to pursue a collaborative divorce they sign a written agreement with their attorneys to not go to court. This is known as a Pledge. As part of this agreement, both parties agree that if a settlement is not reached the lawyers will withdraw from the process and will not participate in any ensuing litigation.
In addition, certain commitments are included to maintain the core values of the collaborative divorce philosophy. These commitments help establish a clear message of the collaborative approach and are put in place to help ensure neither side loses sight of what is truly important – respecting each other and providing the best future possible for any children involved.
With the help of your attorney, both parties will negotiate peacefully and come to terms on issues including:
After all areas of the relationship are addressed, the couple involved will sign a settlement agreement and the divorce will be finalized.
Choosing Collaborative Divorce
It is important to note that collaborative divorce is not for every couple. Both sides must be willing to maintain open communication in order for the process to be effective. In some divorce cases, this can be impossible. However, with cases where collaborative has been used, settlement often comes much sooner and is a lot less expensive.
Filing for divorce can be an unpleasant experience. The ramifications of the decisions made during the process will affect each person involved for the rest of their lives. If you find yourself in this position, make sure you weigh all of your options before deciding which path to take – traditional or collaborative.
The collaborative approach to divorce is becoming more popular in the family law field because participants are able to settle issues more quickly at a fraction of the traditional litigation cost.
Contact Attorney Gib Irons of Irons & Irons P.A.
If you live in Greenville, North Carolina and you are looking for a family lawyer to help explain the collaborative law process in more detail, contact family law attorney Gib Irons of Irons & Irons by filling out our contact form or by calling 252-215-3000. Gib will ensure to provide you with the necessary education you need to decide if collaborative family law is right for you and your situation.