Not all divorces involve complicated issues or a great degree of conflict that the parties need to work through. In those situations, it may not make much sense for couples to engage in a traditional divorce, which can take more time and money to complete than their situations would call for. An alternative solution is collaborative law. At Mercedes R. Wechsler, P.A., our staff often asks our clients to consider whether or not this type of divorce may be beneficial for them.
Collaborative law refers to divorces and other family law matters that proceed with the understanding that both parties will do their best to work together amicably during the progression of the case. The parties also agree that they will refrain from involving the court in decision-making processes, which is known as litigation. Instead, both sides attend special meetings where they can work together to come to an agreement regarding the division of their assets, debts, child custody and child or spousal support.
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the meetings between the parties are the key to the success of a collaborative divorce. They can include mediations or settlement conferences and are often presided over by neutral parties known as mediators. These mediators are charged with keeping the peace and helping to guide the parties toward making many potentially difficult decisions. Alternatively, the parties and their attorneys may choose to hold several more informal meetings in which they discuss the matters relevant to the divorce and resolve any issues that they can.
In the event the parties cannot settle as agreed, both attorneys must formally withdraw their representation and help the parties find counsel who will be able to effectively pursue the matter in court. Only then does the traditional divorce process proceed. To learn more about this subject, please visit our web page.