The Collaborative Divorce Process
In recent years, a new alternative to the traditional divorce process—a concept called collaborative divorce—has become increasingly accepted as an effective way to settle differences in a divorce.
In the collaborative process, each party retains separate counsel, as would happen in the traditional divorce process. The first significant difference, though, is that the parties and their lawyers agree to try to resolve all disagreements without the intervention of the court. So instead of focusing exclusively on protecting your rights, your attorney is charged with identifying ways that you can cooperatively resolve your disputes.
A second distinguishing characteristic of collaborative divorce is the willingness to seek guidance from independent authorities. Instead of looking at court guidelines or even mediating a child custody dispute, the parties to a collaborative divorce proceeding may jointly retain a child psychologist, therapist or counselor, who will meet with the parties and the children and make recommendations regarding custody and visitation that are in the best interests of the child. Instead of battling over the division of marital assets, the parties to a collaborative divorce may hire an accountant, financial planner or other consultant to review the marital estate and make recommendations regarding the equitable distribution of debts and assets.
If the parties to a collaborative divorce proceeding resolve all issues without the help of the court, they typically put their agreement in writing, sign it and have a copy entered into the court record. If, however, they cannot agree on all issues, and need the court to settle a matter, they must terminate their relationship with counsel and hire new attorneys to handle the court proceedings.
Contact Morgenstern & Rochester
At Morgenstern & Rochester, our two partners have almost 50 years of combined family law experience. We are a boutique family law firm that takes a hands-on approach. When you hire us, you will always work directly with one of our partners, never with an inexperienced associate or a paralegal.