For many people, one word comes to mind when they think of the divorce process: stressful. Whether it is fighting for more time with your kids or arguing over who gets the family home, traditional divorce can be expensive, time-consuming, and overwhelming. Nowadays, however, collaborative divorce makes it possible for couples to separate amicably and efficiently, while protecting their own best interests.
What is collaborative divorce?
Michigan couples can settle their divorces outside of the courtroom through collaborative divorce. Throughout the collaborative divorce process, you will likely require assistance from family law attorneys and various other experts, including:
- Financial professionals (e.g., accountants)
- Real estate professionals (e.g., appraisers, mortgage brokers)
- Certified Divorce Financial Analysts
- Child specialists
- Divorce coaches
Collaborative divorce typically requires soon-to-be exes to work together, rather than against each other. If they can manage to do this, they can save time and money, while also negotiating an agreement that satisfies both parties. If you are interested in collaborative divorce, you will likely take the following steps:
- Select an attorney to represent you (your spouse will choose their own attorney).
- Sign a “no-court” agreement, requiring attorneys to withdraw if the case ends up in court (both attorneys and spouses will need to sign this agreement).
- Meet with your attorney to discuss your priorities and what you are willing to compromise on.
- Meet with your attorney, your spouse, and your spouse’s attorney to negotiate the settlement. The neutral experts listed above will also be called in to address the various issues that arise in the divorce including alimony, child custody, and property division.
- File your divorce papers and settlement agreement with the court.
While many people have benefitted from collaborative divorce, it is not for everyone. If you and your spouse are unable to compromise on important issues, a traditional divorce may be better suited for your needs. Consulting with a family law attorney about your specific situation can help you decide if collaborative divorce is right for you.