While a divorce in California can be a long and complicated process, a collaborative divorce can make the process easier. A collaborative divorce involves a team of professionals who will advise and assist you and your spouse through the divorce process. Here’s how collaborative divorces work.
What does the collaborative divorce process look like?
For a collaborative divorce, both parties hire an attorney with experience in collaborative divorce. The collaborative attorneys will not represent their clients in court and must withdraw from the case if you leave the collaborative process and go to court. The attorneys will advise their clients and help their clients remain amicable and negotiate a fair agreement that benefits everyone involved.
Each spouse will also have their own mental health professional, referred to as a divorce coach. The divorce coaches help you and your spouse come to agreements involving the children and parenting plan; and provide support to each of you during collaborative meetings.
The team also includes a neutral financial expert who will help you with the financial disclosures and plans for how to move forward after the divorce with a financial plan. For some families a child specialist is also added to the team to help parents with co-parenting plans.
If both parties can keep the divorce collaborative, they’ll be able to finalize the divorce much faster and save thousands of dollars on court and legal fees. They’ll also be more willing to negotiate with each other. If communications break down and the couple goes to divorce court, the divorce can turn into a lengthy litigation that adds to the stress and financial strain.
How can an individual find assistance with a collaborative divorce?
For assistance with a collaborative divorce, you can start by attending a workshop run by your local collaborative group. Or you can reach out to a divorce attorney in your area who specializes in collaborative divorce. That attorney can help connect you and your spouse to additional team members, including attorneys, financial experts, and divorce coaches. Once you have assembled a team, you and your spouse will meet with the professionals to get started on your divorce.