Divorce is always about change, but it doesn’t always have to be contentious or litigious. Sometimes, a couple might respect one another, worry about the effect of a combative divorce on their children, and want to keep their private lives private. Collaborative divorce might be the answer to how you and your spouse restructure your family’s lives.
If you’re thinking about getting a divorce, have filed for divorce, or have been served divorce papers, you should know your options The Law Office of Glen A. Norton can help you explore the collaborative divorce process to see if it’s right for you and your family. For more than 30 years, they’ve been helping clients in Minnetonka, Minnesota and surrounding communities navigate family law matters.
A collaborative divorce is an uncontested divorce in which a couple decides to work out a settlement without going to court. They agree to retain an attorney trained in the collaborative divorce process, disclose all financial information, and work toward agreement on all matters, including asset division, spousal support, and child custody.
The attorney's assistance differs from the legal representation generally seen in a traditional divorce where each party’s attorney fights to get the best settlement for their own client. A collaborative divorce attorney doesn’t function as a litigator but rather acts as a settlement specialist for both parties. Although the final agreement reached in the collaborative process must be approved by the court, it’s a more customized arrangement specific to the couple and their family.
Furthermore, a collaborative divorce attorney works with other collaborative specialists that can assist in the divorce process including certified public accountants and mental health specialists, all who are experienced in guiding the family through a fair but peaceful divorce process.
A collaborative divorce has many advantages over a traditional divorce including:
More control. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses are the primary adjudicators of their divorce, not a mediator or a judge. Although your attorney helps you negotiate a settlement, you communicate directly with one another to come to a mutually beneficial resolution.
It costs less. The spouses retain an attorney who acts to facilitate a divorce that best benefits the family rather than two attorneys who function as gladiators fighting against one another.
It takes less time. The collaborative divorce also takes less time than a traditional divorce because everyone is working toward the same goal of settlement rather than resorting to lengthy litigation.
You get professional assistance throughout the process. The attorney works with other collaborative professionals who are available to facilitate where needed. These might include financial planners, divorce coaches, and child therapists who work for both parties.
Collaborative divorce isn’t for every couple, for example, those with an unequal power dynamic, couples who won’t communicate with one another, or those who don’t trust the other to disclose assets. But it’s a good option for couples when:
Both parties are respectful to one another.
Both parents want to protect the children and put the children’s best interests before their own.
Both parties want to keep details of their divorce out of a courtroom.
Both parties share power in their relationship. Neither party controls nor are abusive to the other.
Both parties see the benefit of working with collaborative specialists.
While a collaborative divorce is less adversarial than a traditional divorce or mediation, couples need to have the guidance of an attorney trained in the collaborative process. The attorney can also assemble the team of neutral collaborative professionals needed to address each couple’s specific needs. In collaborative divorce, you’re in control.
Whether you’re thinking about divorce or the process has begun, call The Law Office of Glen A. Norton today to discuss whether or not a collaborative divorce will work for you. Better results can often be achieved by avoiding a courtroom battle.
The Law Office of Glen A. Norton provides real help for real families through personal attention and a collaborative approach. If your marriage or family is going through a change, you can rely on attorney Glen A. Norton to use the knowledge and experience he has gathered in over three decades of service to be a trusted guide for you and your family. He proudly represents families in Minnetonka, Minnesota and neighboring areas including Hennepin County, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Wayzata, and Eden Prairie. Call today to schedule a case consultation.