Collaborative Divorce Laws

This is a fairly new method which is used for dispute resolution – in the case of couples who have made the decision to end their marriage.  The laws governing this process are broad ranging – with new laws being introduced by the federal government, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer as a guide through the process.

How it Works:

Both parties are bound by marriage laws set up by individual states.  Each party hires a lawyer to work out an agreement, without going to court and get a mutually agreeable settlement.  The agreement is worked out to meet the specific needs of all the parties involved – especially the children.  This process is started when the couple signs a “participation agreement”.  This agreement is binding on both parties.  It also disqualifies the representing lawyers from representing either party in future family related issues.

Good Reasons to Use:

  • Effective in helping people reach fair solutions and resolve differences satisfactorily.

  • This is not for everyone or every situation.

  • Lawyers representing the parties argue vigorously for their side.

  • This method is cheaper than going through the courts – fewer steps and court costs and other fees.

  • Both parties have to commit to working together and reach an amicable solution.

  • Addresses all kinds of issues – legal and emotional – for all the involved parties. 

  • Helps parties to work in a peaceful and considerate manner, keeping the well being of all parties in mind.

Role of Lawyers:

Their roles are not neutral in this process.  The lawyer is a resource and also an educator.  He acts as an advocate and protector of his client in this process.  He also acts as an arbitrator and manages the process to make sure that all aspects are handled smoothly.  The main role is to make sure that the clients are aware of their legal rights and obligations.

Advantages of Collaborative Divorce:

  • Friendly, amicable environment

  • Availability of trained lawyers

  • Control over the outcome

  • Settling issues by compromise and fair play

  • Less expensive than going through courts

  • Less stress and anxiety

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