Understanding collaborative divorce

For divorcing couples, one of the many challenges they face is the fear that they will spend an inordinate amount of money to get divorced. Some people may even be concerned that they literally cannot afford to get divorced. According to Forbes, this need not be the case as there are alternatives to the traditional litigated divorce that plays out on many a movie or television screen.

One alternative is mediation, in which a third party helps a couple navigate their own settlement. A different approach can be seen in a collaborative divorce. Here, both spouses hire their own attorneys and a team of other professionals to guide them through the settlement process. This prevents the need for court while still giving each person a professional to advocate on their behalf.

As explained by NJ.com, in a collaborative divorce, the focus is on developing a settlement that both spouses work on together in a more cooperative way free from the natural conflict and adversarial nature associated with a courtroom divorce. A big benefit of this approach is not only the cost savings but the reduced level of angst for both the spouses and any children they may have.

The collaborative divorce team may include a psychologist or other mental health professional, a person who provides guidance to the couple on parenting and a person who advises the couple on financial matters. The financial professional may be an accountant, financial planner or other person able to provide insight on taxes, property division, housing and the long-term impact of any agreements made in the divorce process.