Frequently Asked Questions about Collaborative Divorce

Do You Have a Question about Divorce or the Collaborative Approach?

How does the collaborative approach compare to traditional litigation?

While both processes are designed to separate a single lifestyle into two, the comparisons between the collaborative approach and the typical courtroom divorce end there.

The litigated approach is messy, often pitting spouses against one another, and focused on finding fault and placing blame. Litigation has the couple settling in a courtroom, leaving the final decisions up to a judge and standard orders. This allows for little flexibility, is costly and often results in bitter feelings. Plus: Very little is done to meet the unique needs of the family system or children involved.

Collaborative divorce allows couples the opportunity to customize their divorce, from components of their resolution, to the pace at which the process proceeds. It’s done outside of the courtroom, so the process is kept private and out of the public eye. The approach also places great important on children and family dynamics, working to preserve the family system as best as possible, and provide support and consideration to the couple’s children.

A collaborative divorce provides for the legal, financial and mental needs that accompany a divorce by incorporating an interdisciplinary team into the resolution process. The typical courtroom approach does little to address anything outside of the legal aspects associated with divorce, which includes providing financial insight and devising strategies to live within a new budget, creation of a co-parenting strategy or solutions to cope with emotions and feelings that often come with separation.

By providing additional support and resources, couples who use the collaborative approach are better quipped to make solid judgements about their future, take an active role in the resolution process and create a scenario to cooperatively raise their children after divorce.

To see other ways the collaborative process works to serve couples facing divorce, see a step-by-step breakdown of the process and how the professionals work to serve spouses throughout their divorce.

How does the cost of a collaborative divorce compare to a courtroom divorce?

There’s a great deal of anxiety associated with divorce due to the hefty price tag many assume comes with it. The fact is—any stereotype about the expensive divorce really stems from the typical courtroom divorce, which incorporates the cost of attorneys, court fees and other costs, which paired with a lengthy process, can get quite pricey rather quickly.

Because every couple and situation is different, pinning down the actual cost of a divorce can be tricky, the collaborative approach often comes with a much lower price tag because couples work cooperatively and efficiently to come to decisions about their future and resolution. This approach also eliminates the need for the traditional “discovery” process, as couples disclose pertinent details and financial info during discussions with the collaborative team and individual professionals.

If you have questions about your particular situation or want to see if collaborative is a good fit for you and your spouse, send our collaborative team a message and we can help explain your options and determine the next steps for you to take.

It sounds really expensive to have all of those professionals—why can’t we do it without them?

Using a neutral in your collaborative case will save you money. At BVCDA, your divorce coach is an experienced mental health professional. Your financial professional is a CPA, CFP and a divorce specialist. These professionals do their work faster and better than your attorneys can because these neutrals do this work day in and day out. Your neutrals free up your attorneys to concentrate on your legal issues. This is like the Formula One races. When a car pulls in for maintenance, you see a crew of specialists rush to fill up the gas tank and change the tires. Each crew member has their own particular job. You don’t see one or two guys trying to do everything. They are a coordinated, efficient, fast team. You will have the same kind of team in your collaborative divorce.

Why should I choose the collaborative divorce approach?

Divorce is often painful and devastating, especially if when pursued traditional, courtroom channels. For couples who have determined that divorce is the best means of resolution, but who don’t want a combative, messy courtroom battle, collaborative divorce could be the best alternative for them.

The collaborative approach can be a great fit for couples who:

  • Have Children Together: Collaborative helps spouses create a co-parenting plan, which will enable them to cooperatively raise their children together after divorce.
  • Have a High Professional or Social Profile: Because collaborative is outside of the court, privacy is a key benefit for those who don’t wish to air out their dirty laundry.
  • Will Maintain a Relationship After the Divorce: Sometimes social circles and family ties keep divorcing spouses connected after their separation, and collaborative helps to keep relationships amicable and communicative.

If you are facing divorce and desire a peaceful, non-adversarial option which works to protect your family, finances and future, contact our team to see if you and your spouse would be a good fit for the approach.

How can I tell if the collaborative divorce approach is right for my spouse and me?

For many couples, Collaborative divorce can be a very positive alternative to the typical courtroom divorce—but it requires couples to cooperatively work through solutions and communicate needs and feelings to devise the best mutually-beneficial outcome possible. Couples who will benefit from this approach typically have some of the following characteristics:

    • Can set aside ill feelings from marriage to work cooperatively
    • Genuine interest in finding a resolution—and not avenging past hurts
    • Ability to communicate goals, needs and feelings with spouse
    • Desire to develop and foster an amicable, non-combative environment for problem-solving and resolution

You can find out how the collaborative divorce process works and discover more of the characteristics and benefits couples are finding with this approach. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our collaborative divorce team if you have any questions along the way!