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Collaborative law: A less expensive alternative to litigation

When California spouses divorce, the must make numerous decisions regarding negotiation of a settlement. In many cases, litigation is necessary, especially if those involved disagree about child custody, property division or support issues. Other spouses are able to resolve their differences through collaborative law, which is typically a less expensive option.  

Collaborative law not only costs less but also usually takes less time than going through a trial. One of the first decisions to make after choosing a collaborative process for divorce is to determine whether mediation or negotiation is the best course of action to create a settlement agreement. The processes are similar; however, a mediated divorce includes a neutral third party who helps facilitate peaceful discussions between spouses to work toward a just result

In certain circumstances, collaborative law may not be the best option for the divorce process. For instance, if you believe your spouse has been abusive and/or some act has caused you to fear for your children’s safety, you may want to choose a more formal court setting to address those issues. Also, a litigated divorce is a matter of public information, where everything that is said and done is kept on record. 

Collaborative law often helps spouses cope with the emotional trauma of divorce because it provides opportunity to discuss their feelings in a more intimate and private setting. Spouses are able customize their settlement agreement to fit their immediate needs and ultimate family goals. If a spouse is unsure whether collaboration is the best course of action in a particular situation, guidance can be sought from a California family law attorney who is experienced in this type of divorce.