Collaborative divorce is the most flexible and holistic approach to family conflict resolution. In the collaborative process, both parties control the outcome.
While some people are skeptical of a “non-adversarial divorce process,” consider this: Almost 90 percent of collaborative cases settle with an agreement on all issues, according to recent studies.
Collaborative divorce protects children and families from the emotional stress of ongoing litigation.
When families can resolve issues outside of court, it allows them to end conflicts quickly while maintaining control over the process. Personal schedules are not subject to the whims of shifting trial dates, and financial records remain private.
Unlike arbitration, there is no impartial person to make a final decision. Collaborative divorce involves both parties, their respective lawyers, and other specially-trained professionals in a safe, structured environment.
The couple seeking a divorce has the option to create a multidisciplinary team to help facilitate information-sharing and decision-making, and assist with managing the emotional anxiety of a divorce. This team can include mental health professionals, child specialists, financial advisors, and other specialists of their choosing.
Both sides enter the negotiation with the understanding that nobody “wins” a divorce. Ground rules are mutually-agreed upon in a Participation Agreement, in which both sides pledge a commitment to transparency, honesty, good faith, and the best interests of their children.
The collaborative process addresses all parts of a divorce, including: division of assets, alimony, child support, child custody, and more.
When all issues are resolved, a Settlement Agreement is prepared by the attorneys. This agreement becomes legally binding only after each party testifies they understand and agree to the terms at a brief hearing with a judge.
The collaborative process gives families complete control over the negotiation. If you are considering a collaborative divorce, it’s important to hire an attorney who is capable of balanced negotiation and creative problem-solving.
Mitchell Arons is a founder of the Collaborative Divorce Association of New Jersey. Mitchell Arons and Jennifer Bretz of Arons & Solomon are both active members of the Association’s board of directors.
Let us help you build a customized process of negotiation that works for your priorities.