On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family Law posted in divorce on Thursday, January 5, 2017.
For many people who have made the extraordinarily difficult decision to divorce, keeping the process non-adversarial is a main priority. Whether you want to shield your children from a contentious custody battle or you simply want to avoid the cost and complication of going to court, a collaborative divorce may be the optimal choice for your Kentucky family.
Collaborative divorce versus traditional divorce
In a traditional divorce, one spouse initiates the legal process by filing divorce papers. The other spouse must respond, and through petitions, motions and other procedures, each spouse pursues his or her ideal outcome with the help of an attorney. Even amicable divorces can be lengthy and expensive as parties discuss settlements for different matters, such as child custody and property division.
In collaborative divorce, both spouses will retain separate legal representation, but unlike mediation, the assistance of a neutral third-party is not necessary. Instead, confidential discussions and negotiations take place in face-to-face meetings in order to reach mutually beneficial decisions. Parties must agree to full disclosure of all pertinent information, eliminating the need for the discovery process.
Understanding the collaborative law process
Collaborative divorce is often less expensive and faster than a traditional divorce. Despite the many advantages to this option, unless both spouses are committed to cooperation, the process can break down, requiring the divorce process to start again from the beginning.
This non-traditional approach to divorce may not be the appropriate choice for your situation if any of the following apply to your case:
There are concerns regarding a spouse’s substance abuse problem.
Mental or emotional instability is present and could impact the collaborative process.
Domestic violence or threats of violence played a role in the decision to divorce.
There are sensitive issues that could disrupt communication between the parties.
One spouse is uncooperative and unwilling to compromise.
If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are both willing to commit to the collaborative process, it can provide your family with the following benefits:
More control over a child custody agreement
A gentler transition to post-divorce life for both parties
Sustainable, practical financial agreements
The fostering of a more amicable relation between spouses who must co-parent after the divorce is final
Savings of significant costs, time and emotional duress
Effectively navigating the collaborative divorce process requires an extensive knowledge of Kentucky divorce laws and experience in collaborative law. Before you make any important decisions about your divorce, you should seek a complete understanding of the best way to protect the long-term interests of you and your children.