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Is Collaborative Divorce Right For You?

When thinking about divorce, you have likely taken a look at the various approaches out there for handling the complexities of the divorce process and its issues. These issues include child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, the division of marital property and debt, and other very personal matters that will need to be determined before your divorce can be finalized. You also have likely found information from experts about how extensive the emotional toll on both parties and their children can be. Even the mere contemplation of divorce can put you on a permanent path towards increasing anxiety.

Wanting to keep the emotional toll as minimized as possible is a natural reaction. On the other hand, divorce in and of itself is a matter of conflict. That is why litigation is necessary. However, in today’s society, methods for attempting to keep divorce as stress-free and amicable as possible have evolved. These include mediation and the collaborative divorce process. In today’s blog, we will discuss how the collaborative process works and give you some insight that might help you decide if it will work for your particular divorce circumstances.

Heading for divorce in Des Moines or elsewhere in Iowa? Get the help you need from Hope Law Firm. Call (515) 305-2772 to schedule a consultation.

Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

The benefits of a collaborative divorce are many. You and your spouse will each have your own attorney who will provide advice and guidance. You will be able to meet with your attorney alone and you and your attorney will also meet with your spouse and his or her attorney in four-way discussions. The entire process is based on productive communication and problem-solving to resolve the issues that need to be resolved. The purpose of the collaborative process is to help you and your spouse reach a mutually-satisfying agreement about all these issues through constructive communication. At the end of the process, your attorneys can write up the agreement that has been reached so as to be able to formally submit it to the judge for approval.

The benefits to all of this include:

  • It is private, done in a neutral and safe space, out of the public eye of the courtroom.
  • It is confidential; matters are only discussed between the spouses and your respective attorneys.
  • It is less time-consuming because it is not dependent on court schedules and can be accomplished much faster than contentious litigation involving repeated court appearances.
  • Because it is takes less time, it is less expensive.
  • It leaves the decisions concerning all the vital issues related to your divorce in your hands as opposed having a judge decide for you.
  • Because it is voluntary where both sides agree to abide by the collaborative model, it has a high chance for success.
  • Because it is based on discussing the issues rather than finding fault or focusing on personalities, it can improve your post-divorce relationship with your spouse. The two of you will have successfully worked together to resolve matters; this is especially important for those who will go on to co-parent and thus be further involved in each other’s lives.

How Do You Decide if the Collaborative Process Will Work for You?

If your divorce is based on infidelity or domestic violence, it is unlikely that the collaborative process is right for you. Infidelity is extremely difficult to overcome as a trust issue making constructive communication likely impossible. Domestic violence is the same – it has generally destroyed any ability for the parties to come together enough to talk about how to resolve divorce issues.

On the other hand, if you and your spouse have merely drifted apart, have found you no longer have much in common, or feel that the marriage was a mistake based on smaller issues, such as differing personal interests or incompatibility, then collaborative divorce will likely be a good option. The underlying principle behind it is that you must be able to communicate with one another in a rational and mature manner. If you know that you cannot do that because of emotional barriers (anger, jealousy, betrayal, or others), then the process will not work. However, if you are willing to communicate without blaming or shaming your spouse, then the process has a good chance for success.

Talk to a Collaborative Divorce Law Advocate

To get a better handle on this matter, it is best to discuss it with an attorney who practices collaborative divorce. At Hope Law Firm, we can provide guidance to help you decide what the correct method for your divorce would be. It is best to understand each method along with its advantages and disadvantages. Our legal team has handled thousands of cases for clients throughout Iowa and we are confident that we can help you move through the divorce process towards a successful result.

To get more information about the collaborative process or to discuss the circumstances of your divorce, contact Hope Law Firm at (515) 305-2772 today.