As an Attorney who represents clients in both Traditional and Collaborative divorce cases, I am fully familiar with the many benefits of the Collaborative process. Here are just some of the reasons why Collaborative Divorce appeals to me:
The parties start on equal footing. In the Collaborative Divorce process, nothing is filed with the court until after the parties have come to an agreement on ALL issues. This process allows all parties to feel that they are heard and empowered. There is no “plaintiff” or “defendant” opposing each other, often drawing out divorce unduly and making it more stressful, as there is with traditional divorce.
Open and transparent sharing of information. In the Collaborative process, the parties agree to free exchange of information. This includes all financial information and negates the need for a formal, and often costly, discovery process.
More negotiations happen at the table between the parties. Everyone wants and deserves to be heard during this highly emotional time. Negotiations in the Collaborative process are primarily done with all parties at the table, which means more creative and workable solutions. And often less negotiation is necessary between the attorneys — and there’s no interference from the Judge pressuring the parties or attorneys between Collaborative sessions.
The parties are encouraged to fully discuss the topics that are important to them. Unencumbered by the Court’s rigid timeline and structure, the Collaborative process lets parties go at their own pace. If the parties feel they need more time to discuss custody issues or financial issues, the process allows and encourages the parties to take that time.
The parties begin with an AGREEMENT. In my opinion, the most important advantage of Collaborative Divorce is that the parties start from a place of agreement, not conflict. They do that by signing a participation agreement http://www.govanlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/GL_ParticipationAgreement.pdf) committing themselves to proceed Collaboratively.
To learn more about Collaborative Divorce and how it can work for you, please look through our Collaborative Attorneys and contact one in your area .
About the Blogger:
Matthew Govan is a family law practitioner at Govan Law Office, PA, in Portland. He is the Chair of the Board and a founding member of the Maine Collaborative Law Alliance. To learn more about beginning a Collaborative Divorce or if you are a professional interested in becoming a MCLA member, please see MCLA’s locate a professional or become a member pages.