The topic of whether collaborative divorce would be right for your situation was discussed in a previous blog. If you and your future former spouse are considering using this alternative method of settling your divorce issues, understanding the process could help you make your final decision.
How it works
You and your spouse will need your own representation. You may want to find an attorney familiar with this process since he or she will need to agree that if the process fails, his or her representation of you ends. If you end up in court, you will need to hire a new attorney to represent you during the process. This works as an incentive for all of you to focus on making it work.
Before entering into negotiations, you will meet with your attorney separately. This is your time to determine what you want out of the process. It may help to identify those issues on which you don’t feel you can compromise and those you can. You may also take this time to determine what you will need in order to give yourself a good start to your post-divorce life. If you have children, you may want to go into negotiations with at least some idea of what you expect as far as a parenting plan.
You and your soon-to-be former spouse may seek the counsel of third parties, such as counselors, financial advisors and appraisers, as necessary in order to help you make the best decisions possible. A child counselor may help you determine the best course of action. You may use every tool at your disposal to help you come to an agreement with which you can both live.
How it ends
Once you come to an agreement, the court will need to approve it. Ensuring that it meets with the requirements the court looks for, protecting your rights and advising you regarding viable legal options for your issues are the steps for which a legal advocate may prove most valuable.