The collaborative divorce process allows separating spouses to work together as a team to resolve issues they need to discuss before formally ending their marriage. But the potential benefits a couple may expect by bypassing the family courts may be shortsighted. For example, a collaborative divorce opens the possibility of coercion and quick fixes that do not serve either spouse in the long run.
For more information on the pros and cons of collaborative divorce, speak to an experienced divorce attorney at our office. Our team has helped many people successfully end their marriages so they can move forward with their lives. We are highly skilled in Georgia’s divorce laws and would be happy to answer your questions.
In a collaborative divorce setting, spouses work with neutral third parties to settle legal issues like spousal support, property division, and child custody. Typically, before starting this process, both parties must agree to fully engage in this process and not take the case to court. Each spouse may have an attorney who advises them of their rights and makes recommendations.
As the spouses discuss matters, they might also call in other experts. For example, if they have children, a child specialist might help them work toward a child custody and support solution that works best. At the end of the process, they either reach a written settlement or, if not, they file for divorce by going to court.
Bypassing the courtroom setting might sound like a good idea at first glance, but there are essential drawbacks you should keep in mind before pursuing a collaborative divorce. If you and your spouse cannot reach a settlement in this context, you need to start all over by filing a lawsuit. Additionally, overly helpful participants (like financial advisors) may pressure you to agree to things you do not actually want or do not protect your rights in the long run.
Another problem with collaborative divorce is that it can limit your opportunity to get targeted legal advice. Because you agreed to full transparency, there might be things you think are shared in confidence that are thrust out into the open. Likewise, this setting may restrict your bargaining power because your attorney cannot fully advocate for you.
While the cons of a collaborative divorce may make this option less appealing to some couples, the process does have advantages to consider as well. Most alternative dispute methods result in a less costly divorce than going through litigation. Additionally, collaboration can be less stressful, quicker, more private, and more customizable than litigation.
However, collaborative divorce does not work for every couple, and many spouses with contested issues have better luck with mediation. Speaking with a trusted legal professional is the best way to determine which option is best for your specific circumstances.
There are many options to consider when you are seeking a divorce. More than just understanding the pros and cons of one scenario, like collaborative divorce, knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each option is paramount to making a choice that is the most effective for your situation.
Our legal team helps people navigate the Georgia dissolution process confidently and effectively. Contact a trusted team member from the Atlanta Divorce Law Group today to schedule a consultation.