How a Collaborative Divorce Works
Collaborative law, also known as collaborative divorce, is a legal process used in divorce cases. In Wisconsin a collaborative divorce enables spouses to separate using lawyers and specific negotiation rules to avoid court and to achieve a settlement.
Collaborative DivorceLow Conflict Represented Approach
- Personal Collaborative Attorney
- Non-adversarial Negotiations
- One Quick Court Appearance at the End
- Shorter Process than Litigation
- More Affordable than Litigation
Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
If you and your spouse are able to still communicate, but are struggling to come to an agreement on the important details of your divorce, and you'd both prefer to have the advice of an attorney, then collaborative divorce is a good choice, especially when both parties still want to function amicably as a family for the children.
What are the benefits of a collaborative divorce?
- Collaborative divorce is simpler than litigation.
- It takes place out of court in an informal setting.
- You both get to voluntarily exchange information.
- Negotiate a settlement agreement that works for you both.
- You can decide now how to handle post-settlement disputes.
- You'll save time. A 2010 IACP study show 58% of collaborative divorces concluded in 8 months compared to 12-18 months for a traditional divorce.
Breaking the Collaborative Pledge is Expensive
Both side’s attorneys, child specialists, therapists and financial advisors also sign the pledge not to court. If this written pledge is broken all professionals involved in the case promise to STOP representing both clients.
This is part of the process because it protects the integrity of the process. If the pledge is broken both spouses will need to start from scratch. This aspect of the process on the part of the professionals is a significant and absolute component to collaborative divorce.
Open Exchange of Information between Parties
Another part of collaborative divorce is that both sides agree to open, honest, and voluntary disclosure of all financial and relevant information. This allows all parties to proceed in good faith as they continue with their negotiations toward a final agreement.
Since information is openly available, formal litigation tactics, such as discovery, depositions, and written interrogatories are unnecessary. This also means attorneys are working collaboratively rather than argumentatively, saving time and money in the divorce process.
Best Interests of All Family Members at the Center
The collaborative divorce process requires the best interests of all the family members to be kept at the center of the agreement. This means keeping the best interests of the children at the center of the agreement at all times instead of fighting.
The practicality of this rule means considering what placement schedules work best for each spouse to maximize each other’s time with the child.
References: 2010 IACP Study
Legal Options that Work for You
There are three basic legal paths. The first step in executing a legal action is deciding which process is right for you.
DIYDo-It-Yourself (with help from the pros)
- Know your case is correctly filed and served
- Unlimited access to workshops for questions gives confidence
- Have peace of mind with your settlement
MediationAmicable Process for Long Term Harmony
- Confusing paperwork done for you
- Most amicable process for long term harmony
- Neutral mediator guides you from start to settlement
- Fraction of contested divorce costs
Legal AdvocateWhen You Need an Advocate in Your Corner
- Best when emotional abuse, substance abuse or violence present
- Your personal negotiation and litigation team
- Necessary when adversarial
- Critical when Trust is an Issue
Related Legal Issues
Divorce Articles & Frequent Questions
Three Simple Steps
Find out how simple the divorce process can be when you work with a law firm that puts you first. Book your consult today!
3. MOVE FORWARD