Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
June 13th, 2022
Contributor: Zachary A. Gottlieb
Collaborative divorce is an innovative alternative to litigation that comes with numerous advantages for both parties. Rather than engage in a lengthy — and costly — court battle, collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial process that allows spouses to divorce amicably, privately, and efficiently. Typically, couples who participate in the collaborative process have a higher degree of satisfaction in the outcome of their divorce. In addition to reducing cost and conflict, other benefits of collaborative divorce include the following:
Maintain Your Privacy
Unlike litigation, which takes place in a public courtroom, collaborative divorce is conducted in a private setting. While a litigated divorce becomes part of the public record, all the discussions and negotiations that occur during the collaborative process remain confidential. This allows spouses to communicate freely with transparency. In addition, because the spouses agree to voluntarily exchange financial and personal information, the expense of ongoing discovery disputes can be avoided.
Keep Your Legal Costs Down
By keeping your divorce out of court, you can also help to keep the costs down. When couples fight over every asset and piece of property — or they cannot reach an agreement regarding child custody or spousal support — the expenses associated with divorce can quickly add up. Since collaborative divorce is not adversarial, and spouses are encouraged to cooperate and work together to reach a resolution, the process can significantly cut legal costs.
Reduce the Amount of Conflict and Stress
An emphasis is placed on respectful and healthy communication during the collaborative process. The parties are meant to work together in a positive manner to find creative and tailored solutions. This method of divorce can also teach the participants lifelong communication skills and provide them with tools to reduce conflict, tension, and hostility for the benefit of any children involved.
Divorce on Your Own Timeline
Going through the court system can be emotionally draining, stressful, and overwhelming. It can also take a much longer time to divorce through litigation since the duration of a case will be contingent upon the court calendar. While it’s not uncommon for a litigated divorce to take months or years to resolve because of overburdened courts, the parties can set their own timeline with the collaborative process.
Control the Outcome of Your Divorce
When spouses cannot resolve the issues that must be determined in divorce, they will be determined by a judge. By using the collaborative process, you and your spouse can openly discuss the issues that must be decided and enter into a settlement agreement that reflects the needs of your family. This may result in a different outcome than a judge’s ruling that can impact you for years to come based on the legal standards and their own impressions. The collaborative process can allow participants to remain in control of the outcome of the divorce, rather than let a judge decide.
Resolve Complex Issues
Collaborative divorce is a common alternative to mediation when there are complex issues to resolve — or a power imbalance between the spouses. In such cases, it may be advantageous to have the structure of a collaborative divorce and a skilled attorney by your side through the process. For instance, if you or your spouse own a business, have a complicated financial situation, or a substantial amount of assets are at stake, the collaborative process can be useful to settle these matters amicably.
Remain Amicable for the Benefit of Your Children
One of the major benefits of a collaborative divorce is preserving your relationship with your ex-spouse for the sake of your children. While you might not want to be close friends with them, it is in your children's best interests to remain civil. Additionally, remaining amicable can be helpful in the event custody, child support, or parenting time will need to be modified or amended at some point in the future.
Protect Your Children from the Divorce Process
Divorce litigation doesn’t only affect spouses. It can also be stressful for children, especially when custody is contested. When you use the collaborative process, you commit to prioritizing the best interests of your children and devising an effective parenting plan. Not only can participating in collaborative divorce allow you to spend more time with your children, rather than in litigation — but it can keep children out of court proceedings entirely.
Utilize a Team of Professionals to Help You Reach a Resolution
A collaborative team is tailored to the specific needs of your case. Depending on the issues that must be resolved, your assembled team may include a financial neutral, a divorce coach, a child specialist, an appraiser, a therapist, and others. Notably, you will also have the counsel and guidance of your attorney. Although your attorney will not approach your case in an adversarial manner, they still maintain their duty to advocate for your interests and provide you with legal advice every step of the way.
Contact an Experienced Oregon Collaborative Divorce Attorney
If you are considering the collaborative divorce process, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable collaborative divorce attorney who can discuss whether this method is right for your situation. At Litowich Law, we are dedicated to offering compassionate counsel and reliable representation for divorce and family law matters. Located in Salem and serving clients throughout Oregon, we welcome you to contact us for a consultation to learn how we can help.