What Is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative Divorce is a process whereby the spouses and their collaboratively-trained lawyers work together, often with the assistance of a neutral financial professional and a coach, to reach a fair divorce agreement.
How Does Collaborative Divorce Differ From Traditional Court-Based Divorce Litigation?
Unlike traditional court-based divorce (litigation), the participants in a collaborative divorce are empowered to make their own decisions rather than to rely on a judge to do so. The divorcing spouses and their collaborative team work together to form an agreement based upon the individual needs and interests of the couple (and their children, if they have any. Read more on Child Support: Parental Roles & Resources.
The participants sign an agreement stating that they understand they will not reach an agreement in the process by litigating any issue or seeking formal discovery in court. They agree to share all information required to facilitate the process and don’t hide information from anyone in the process. If one of the participants breaks the agreement and takes the case to court, the collaborative lawyers and other professionals are discharged from the case and will not participate in the litigation.
Collaborative divorce may be less expensive than traditional divorce for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, because the process takes place outside the courtroom, the spouses do not incur fees for multiple court battles (which often require hours of waiting around in the hallway waiting for your case to be called).
How Does A Collaborative Team Facilitate the Divorce?
There is an enormous emotional component to every divorce which can often cause one or both of the spouses to feel considerable anxiety. The collaborative divorce approach recognizes this basic human element and factors it in to the process. When needed, a neutral coach works with the couple to help them with the emotional aspects of difficult issues and helps to promote productive communication.
The collaborative divorce participants are represented by separate lawyers who are there to advise them about the complicated legal issues. However, unlike traditional divorce, a lawyer is not there to try to convince a judge to give his or her client exactly what that client wants – without regard for the needs and interests of the couple (and their children). The collaborative lawyer’s job is to refocus the participants on their common goals, which include being able to meet future financial needs, to have well-adjusted children, and to be able to move forward with as little disruption and trauma as possible.
When assets need to be properly valued or income streams analyzed for support purposes, the participants work with a neutral financial professional (who is also collaboratively trained). By sharing this professional resource, the participants pay a much lower fee and the process is often expedited.
The Bottom Line
Collaborative divorce may not be suitable for all couples. However, a candid discussion with a collaboratively-trained Connecticut divorce attorney will help you decide if the process is right for you.
Learn more about Connecticut (CT) Divorce Laws
Attorney Evelyn Gryk Frolich is a member of the Collaborative Divorce Professionals (Connecticut). Currently she serves as President of this practice Group. Be sure to visit their website for more detailed information on the Collaborative Divorce Process in Connecticut: Collaborative Divorce Professionals
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Disclaimer: The information presented here is only meant to offer a brief guide to alternative dispute resolution of divorce issues in Connecticut. It is not and should not be construed as legal advice and does not form an attorney/client relationship. Questions about your individual circumstances should be discussed with a licensed attorney. A Connecticut divorce mediation attorney at Gryk & Frolich LLC is available to assist you in your legal matters.