How a Collaborative Divorce Works
Divorcing someone is never easy, especially if you spent several years or decades with that person. Not only is there an emotional toll, but a financial one. You have deal with property issues, analyze your debts and assets, and what will happen with the children. But let’s say you and your spouse agree on pretty much everything. But there are a few sticking points you need to hash out, like child custody and visitation. You don’t feel like a courtroom is needed. Is there a way to settle this outside of court?
There is. It’s called a collaborative divorce procedure. Similar to mediation, collaborative law is the process of removing disputes from the courtroom and placing them at a negotiating table.
This type of divorce is becoming more and more popular in New Jersey. In 2014, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act, making New Jersey the ninth of 11 states to legitimize this process which can be speedier and less costly than a traditional divorce.
How does a collaborative divorce works? It’s similar to a traditional divorce – you and your spouse each hire a divorce attorney. Discuss your options with your lawyer about what you want and what you’re willing to accept. For instance, you may want a child support payment of $500, but you know you could live with a lower amount.
Once you’ve made your stipulations, you and your lawyer will meet with your spouse and his/her lawyer where you will work out the details. What makes this different than the traditional divorce is that each party signs a “no court” agreement, which tells the attorneys to withdraw from the case if the case does continue to litigate in court.
Collaborative divorce does have its benefits. Besides being cheaper, it also saves time, can be informal, and have a healthy discussion on what will work best for you. But not every divorce can benefit – sometimes court is your only option, especially if you and your spouse doesn’t see eye-to-eye on every issue.
If you are going through a divorce and need an experienced family law attorney, let us help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.