As 2017 draws to a close and married couples in California begin setting goals for a new year, chances are some will choose divorce as the most viable option for overcoming current obstacles and pursuing new lifestyles. Some divorces will be hashed out in court, often with highly contentious disputes that require a judge's intervention to resolve. Others may greatly desire settling their differences without litigation and therefore, may want to consider the collaborative law process.
This type of divorce is one of several alternative dispute resolution options. In the collaborative law process, it is crucial to keep lines of communication open in order to work together to solve all material divorce issues. If spouses are barely able to communicate without discord, they might want to consider other divorce options since a prerequisite to collaborative divorce is to mutually agree to amicable negotiation.
Generally speaking, the way it works is that each spouse retains personal legal representation to begin the process. Most experienced family law attorneys are highly skilled negotiators, which is a great asset when troubleshooting and problem solving are high priorities in collaborative law divorces. A spouse's willingness (or refusal) to cooperate and compromise can mean the difference between achieving a fair and satisfactory settlement or having to go to court.
Collaborative law divorce often helps people save time and money since the process is typically swifter than litigation and does not include court fees. A California family law attorney can meet with a spouse privately, then act on his or her behalf to devise a divorce settlement that is agreeable to both parties. An attorney can also immediately address any problem issue that threatens a client's rights or best interests.
Source: FindLaw, "How Collaborative Divorce Works: FAQs", Accessed on Dec. 18, 2017