Some divorcing couples may think that fighting things out in court is the only way to divide property. However, an alternative method is becoming a more popular way for couples who want to avoid a legal battle.
According to FindLaw, collaborative law includes attorneys for each side. However, their goals are more collaborative and productive than in litigation.
Benefits of collaborative law
There are various benefits of collaborative law:
- Less expensive and time-consuming than litigation
- Allows for honest and open communication
- Informal setting
- Puts control into the hands of the spouses
- Fairer and more equitable outcome
Problem-solving and troubleshooting
Collaborative law uses negotiation to come up with the divorce agreement. Each party’s attorney works with the other to troubleshoot and problem-solve the decisions involved in a divorce. Because of this, each side communicates with their lawyer and lets them know in which areas they are willing to negotiate and which ones they are unwilling to concede.
The Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation discusses that the parties can agree to hire experts to help when there are disagreements or complex issues. These professionals may be child psychologists, divorce coaches or accountants.
Contract to enhance negotiations
All parties agree to honestly and fully disclose all relevant information. They also agree to be respectful, and productive and to address the needs of both parties. This ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal, which is agreeing to an equitable divorce agreement.
To eliminate a conflict of interest, each party also signs a disqualification contract. This states that in the event the couple eventually decides to litigate the divorce, the current lawyers will step down, and each spouse will hire new legal representation.