Divorcing couples are often unaware of how a Collaborative Divorce works. They gravitate toward traditional litigation because that is what they know. At Schmitt Law, PLLC, one of the options is the Collaborative Divorce process which allows the couple to divorce dignity and be effective co-parents in their new life as single parents.
Why I Believe in Collaborative Divorce
Traditional litigation is an adversarial process pitting one party against another each trying to “win” the case they present to the court. A Collaborative Divorce is designed to put control into the hands of the couple themselves. They resolve their issues together without court intervention. There are many advantages to a Collaborative Divorce:
- The couple maintains control of the process. There is an open exchange of ideas. They can reach a fair and equitable child-centered resolution without needing a court to decide for them. In litigation, when a couple cannot agree on custody and visitation, courts are charged with the duty to make decisions that are in the best interest of the children, but a judge will never know the family as well as they know themselves.
- The couple maintains personal dignity and respect. They can co-parent effectively after the divorce. They make the decisions themselves about how much time each parent spends with the children, how they will spend holidays, and how they will manage the children’s extra-curricular activities.
- Experts are available to help with decision-making. A team of qualified experts are available to assist the couple in decision-making. For example, a financial neutral will help with tax implications of a settlement, possible spousal support and can give direction on reasonable child support options. The financial neutral also creates post-divorce financial models for each party to give them a clear picture of their budget options. Child Specialists can help with childcare decisions. Counselors can help work through communication issues that may be blocking how to solve what may seem like insurmountable disagreements.
- It is confidential. Nothing is filed with the court except the Consent Judgement of Divorce. Financial documents and other personal information is not filed with the court as it is in litigation.
- It can be less expensive. A Collaborative Divorce avoids the expense of litigation since only one set of experts are retained. The couple commits to full disclosure instead of going through a lengthy, back-and-forth fact-finding process of litigation. There is only one court hearing where Judgement of Divorce is presented for the signature of the judge. It then becomes the final divorce decree.
For more information about how the Collaborative Divorce process can work for you, contact me, Laurie Schmitt, Attorney at Law, at Schmitt Law, PLLC, by calling 616-310-4975.