What Is Collaborative Family Law?
Typically when people think about divorce, they believe it’s always a long, drawn-out battle in court because that’s usually how it’s portrayed on television. However, that’s not always the case, and there are now ways to come to an amicable solution for both parties without getting the courts involved. That process is known as collaborative family law. This is an alternative dispute resolution process through which divorcing spouses work together to resolve legal issues outside of court with the help of their own collaborative family lawyers.
This process is entirely voluntary and needs the consent of both partners before it can move forward. You can’t be forced to use this, and you cannot be forced to agree on any of the issues presented. After both partners agree to use collaborative family law, each of their lawyers agrees in writing to not go to court. They are committed to assisting you in reaching a settlement. Once spouses agree on how to resolve the issues, the lawyers will draft a separation agreement.
What Are The Benefits of Collaborative Family Law?
- This process is faster than going to court.
- It can be cheaper than going through the court system.
- You have control over the timing, process, and the results.
- It shows both partners can cooperate, which could come in handy when decisions regarding their children surface in the future.
- It takes the pressure off each party and fosters a better environment for negotiations.
Signing The Participation Agreement
As mentioned before, both parties need to agree in order to move forward with collaborative family law or a collaborative divorce. It cannot be forced on anybody. With that in mind, you and your partner are required to sign an agreement called a participation agreement with your lawyers. This agreement includes details about you, your partner, and your issues. It also outlines that you will negotiate respectfully,share financial information and other documents, how to end the process if there are unresolved issues, and that you won’t go to court with your lawyer.
Signing The Separation Agreement
The separation agreement is a legal binding document laying out the results of your negotiations with your partner. It lays out the process for child support, spousal support, custody, access, or other parental arrangements. Once this agreement is in place, the only way to change any of it is through the court system. However, the courts will usually rule that both parties follow the agreement unless a portion of it was negotiated not in good faith or documents were withheld.
Working As A Team
Thee lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office are committed to setting up a process for negotiation that makes sense for your lifestyle and needs. Other professionals including planners and social workers might need to get involved as well. These professionals can help you understand the tax implications and create an access schedule that best suits your child, respectfully.
At Verhaeghe Law Office, our team always stays up-to-date on the new family laws impacting our clients. If you need legal representation, give our team a call at 587-410-2500. We can help you.