Johnson & Johnson, Attorneys At Law

Collaborative divorce: The middle method

With the increasing amount of divorcing marriages in the country, the states have incorporated more ways for couples to separate depending on the condition of their marriage and their properties. Litigation can be costly and leads to intense arguments in the courtroom, but it might be the best option for couples who cannot agree at all in the settlement. Mediation is known as a more peaceful option, but some divorcees are unsatisfied with how one person gets to determine everything.

So what happens if you and your spouse find yourselves in between? You want to settle the divorce peacefully, but there are still several assets you have disagreements on where a mediator might not be the best option. Thankfully, New Jersey established the Family Collaborative Law Act a couple of years ago, allowing couples to have a more peaceful option than litigation while still settling with some difficult areas of your marital assets.

How does it work?

After hiring your attorney, you will meet with your spouse and their lawyer in a more informal setting where you will discuss the divorce proceedings. The process primarily relies on mediation and negotiations to settle the separation. Many consider it to be a combination between litigation and mediation as lawyers do take a more active role than in mediation, but both sides agree to use cooperative measures rather than pugnacious tactics seen in the courtroom.

One of the biggest differences in comparison to other divorce methods is that outside professionals can come in to help with the dispute. This can include accountants, mental health professionals and even mediators if there is confusion or tension during the proceedings. These are party-neutral contacts that try to be unbiased in their approach as they help you and your spouse reach an understanding.

What are the benefits?

Thanks to the state passing the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act, Florham Park citizens have access to a divorce method for those that cannot decide between mediation and litigation. Being in between these two processes means the proceedings are relatively balanced. Some of the benefits that come from this includes:

  • Less money than litigation
  • Less time than litigation
  • More control over post-settlement disputes than mediation
  • More professional involvement than mediation
  • An informal setting that encourages negotiable and honest proceedings

However, like other divorce processes, it is not for everyone. Prior to the proceedings, both sides must sign a “no court agreement,” which means that the attorneys will withdraw from the case if it cannot be done in the collaborative style. Both you and your spouse will spend even more money finding newer attorneys and taking the case to litigation.

If you want to see if this method is right for you and to begin developing outlines and strategies, you should contact a local attorney that specializes in collaborative divorce.

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Johnson & Johnson, Attorneys At Law

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30 Columbia Turnpike
Suite 200
Florham Park, NJ 07932

Phone: 973-937-8959
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