What to Expect in Collaborative Divorce: a Step-by-Step Guide

The collaborative law approach to divorce promises a less-contentious and ultimately kinder, gentler way to dissolve a marriage. But what exactly does that look like?

For many, after months or even years of arguments, anger and broken-down communication, this approach may seem like wishful thinking. But that’s precisely where collaborative can work some unexpected magic. According to Stuart Webb, the creator of the concept of “collaborative divorce” there are a few critical pieces. Knowing what to expect in the collaborative divorce can help you determine whether it is the right approach for you.

What to Expect from Your Team

In collaborative, you’re not relying on a single lawyer for all your needs. That’s because ability to litigate and fight over “mine” and “theirs” isn’t the primary objective. While each team will have a lawyer, it will also have mental health professionals (including child psychologists if there are children involved) and financial professionals. This team draws on experience beyond the courtroom to try to ensure the mental and financial health of both parties.

How Long Collaborative Divorce Takes

Unlike divorce, a process that leads up to one appointment in a courthouse, you can expect collaborative to take the time both parties need. Couples meet as necessary to come to a solution.

The Relief of Compromise

It’s easy to picture the knock-down, drag-out fights of divorce. We’ve seen them in movies and on TV…and maybe in our own homes. But moving to the next step of what to expect in collaborative—compromise—can be an enormously freeing move. According to Psychology Today, compromise that comes from a position of clarity and assertiveness is more likely to yield results that are satisfactory to both parties. The good news? Couples seeking divorce are usually already coming from positions of assertiveness. Taking the next step toward collaborative from this place isn’t just a relief, it’s the best way to compromise and reach a happy conclusion.

What to Expect a Divorce to Cost

A recent US News and World Report article examined the cost of choosing collaborative over litigation. And the numbers were shocking. Because compromise and staying out of the courtroom are the goals, choosing collaborative can save couples thousands of dollars. That alone is enough to create some good will.

Learn What to Expect in Collaborative Divorce with an Attorney

A Westchester attorney can explain what to expect in a collaborative divorce. This can help you decide if it is the approach that is right for you. To learn more, call today.