Many couples successfully resolve their issues through the collaborative divorce process. In some instances, however, it may not be the best choice.
These are the most common situations in which you should rethink a collaborative divorce.
You own significant assets
With a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse are not subject to the same fact-finding process as with a standard divorce. If you have concerns about your spouse hiding assets, misrepresenting facts or otherwise treating you unfairly during the property division negotiation, you may want to avoid a collaborative divorce in favor of court proceedings to take advantage of full financial disclosure.
Your spouse does not agree
Both parties must be open to the collaborative divorce process for it to work. If your spouse prefers to hire his or her own attorney and resolve the divorce in court, you will not be able to move forward with a more collaborative approach. When he or she is combative or unwilling to compromise, collaboration is unlikely to achieve the desired results.
Domestic violence has occurred
If your partner has harmed you emotionally or physically, you must protect your interests rather than trust him or her to behave fairly and amicably during a collaborative divorce procedure. In fact, many courts will not accept a collaborative divorce agreement when one partner has accused the other of domestic violence.
You own a business together
With this complex situation, litigation provides an opportunity to untangle issues such as business valuation and management of the company during and after the divorce. In this case, experts may testify about the true value of the business and how each partner contributed if you and your former spouse disagree about these items.
In addition, collaborative divorce does not guarantee an amicable divorce. Often, this process can cost more and take longer because the couple must resort to a traditional divorce if they cannot agree on the key issues and come to an independent agreement without litigation.