Divorce is the path that some New Jersians traverse. An alternative resolution that keeps a couple out of court during a high-stress situation involves collaborating to end the marriage on better terms.
The collaborative process effectively resolves significant issues that may trip couples up. While some divorces take a standard path through a courtroom, the collaborative one is gaining ground.
What happens during the collaborative process?
Collaborative divorce involves cooperation. After filing for divorce, a couple decides to try and resolve things without a judge’s ruling. State law establishes rules and procedures for the collaborative divorce process. The couple and their representatives have several meetings to work together to resolve all the necessary elements in a divorce. If they cannot finalize an agreement, the law requires them to obtain new representation before proceeding through court.
What is the difference between collaborative and mediation?
Mediation is another popular tool used to settle divorce cases outside the courtroom. While it also encourages couples to meet in the middle, it follows a different set of rules than a collaborative route. The mediation structure is less rigid and requires a third party to guide the couple through outstanding issues. In a collaborative approach, there is no neutral party. Unlike mediation, a collaborative divorce allows a couple’s representatives and other outside parties, such as therapists and financial advisors, to help settle issues.
What are the benefits of a collaborative divorce?
Couples who choose the collaborative method typically settle quicker and reach a divorce decree faster. They tend to spend less money and expend less emotional energy when they work together. This is crucial when the couple has children. Divorcing in a less hostile way leaves them in a better position to parent in a positive light.
A couple who works together in a collaborative divorce may set themselves up for a brighter path moving forward.