Denver Collaborative Divorce Attorney
Divorces are never easy. Shifting from being married to being on your own can be a significant culture shock, and many people struggle to adjust. What’s more, the divorce process can be long, emotionally draining, and expensive. These are just a few reasons that divorce is considered one of the most stressful events a person can endure.
Despite these realities, there are ways to make divorce easier and more tolerable. Collaborative divorce is an option for many couples that can eliminate a lot of the emotional stress and trauma of the divorce process. Though no process can be perfect, collaborative divorce is a way to approach a divorce as a team rather than as opponents. This can create a more favorable outcome for all involved and can help to develop divorce terms that are truly in everyone’s best interests.
With the help of a collaborative divorce attorney, both parties in your divorce can seek favorable outcomes. Through rationality, compromise, and cooperation, you and your spouse can help your divorce proceed smoothly.
Woody Law Firm, LLC: Your Denver Collaborative Divorce Attorneys
When it comes to the collaborative divorce process, James Cordes and Danaé Woody work to provide couples with exemplary legal counsel. Both James and Danaé have many years of experience navigating divorce mediation and collaborative divorce processes, as well as providing other essential family law services. James is also the incoming President of the Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals organization.
We understand the unique challenges that face many couples today and aim to provide legal help without judgment or preconceived ideas. We take the time to get to know your family so that we can help you to create divorce terms that truly work for you.
Our collaboratively trained attorneys are here to facilitate a healthy, productive discussion between you and your spouse. We can help you both to agree upon the terms of your divorce to ensure everyone consents to the outcomes. No one should feel excluded from the collaborative divorce process, and you and your spouse should truly decide the terms together.
What Is a Collaborative Divorce in Colorado?
When many people think about divorce, they think of courtroom litigation. This situation occurs in a courtroom, and each spouse has their own attorney. These attorneys argue over the terms of the divorce, and the court ultimately decides who gets which assets. Though the attorneys speak on behalf of their clients, the clients themselves do not often speak in court. If they have a request or opinion about something, it must be filtered through their attorney.
Though some divorces call for litigation, others do not. Collaborative divorce uses mediation and spouse-to-spouse negotiations to come to a conclusion. Instead of attorneys arguing on behalf of their clients, each spouse can speak for themselves and reach an agreement that works for both parties. Though compromise is often involved, the conclusions of these divorces are often less dramatic and more civil than courtroom litigation divorces.
Why Do I Need a Collaborative Divorce Attorney?
It is important to note that courtroom litigation is not the only setting in which lawyers help their clients. Divorce mediation or collaborative divorce still requires the presence of one attorney. Though the attorney is not representing either spouse specifically, they can represent them both by ensuring the terms of the divorce are fair.
A collaborative divorce attorney facilitates the negotiations during mediation and helps to keep everything running smoothly. It is natural for divorcing spouses to be unable to come to a conclusion about certain issues. The attorney’s job during these situations is to help the spouses to compromise and get to an agreement that is relatively fair for everyone. Without collaborative divorce attorneys, these situations can become impasses, and litigation may be necessary.
It is also possible for each spouse to have their own attorney-mediator. In this situation, all four people would be in mediation to discuss the divorce.
Divorce is always a legal process, whether it occurs via courtroom litigation or mediation. In all situations, you should have an attorney present to make sure the terms of the divorce are fair and legal.
Benefits of the Collaborative Divorce Process
There are many benefits of choosing a collaborative divorce over courtroom litigation. These benefits are why so many people choose collaborative divorce services rather than go to court. Some key benefits include:
- Your voice is heard. Many people feel embittered by their divorce process because they feel they were not heard. During mediation, you get to speak for yourself and advocate for what you need. Many people feel more empowered during this process than with courtroom litigation.
- You have more control. If there are certain issues that you feel extremely strongly about, mediation is an appealing avenue because you can express how important they are. For example, if you would like to retain the family cabin rather than the family home, you could express that in mediation and work toward that goal.
- It’s less stressful. Courtrooms can be stressful places, and the pressure of a judge and two attorneys can be very intimidating. Many people find that mediation is less stressful overall and emotionally easier to navigate.
- You save time. Courtroom litigation for divorce can drag out for weeks or months, but mediation is often much shorter than that. Mediation can conserve your time and allow you to begin your new life quickly and efficiently.
Collaborative Divorce and Child Custody
If you have children, you will have to discuss child custody during your collaborative divorce proceedings. In many situations, mediation leads to shared custody where both parents spend equal time as the guardian of their children. However, there are other options to consider.
Partial custody occurs when one parent is the primary guardian while the other cares for the children some of the time. For example, the primary guardian could care for the children during the week, and the other parent could care for the children on weekends.
Visitation is a child custody arrangement in which one parent cares for the child most of the time, but the other parent has the legal right to see their children for a certain number of hours per month. Depending on the arrangement, the parent with visitation may host the children overnight or take them for activities if the custodial parent agrees.
Finally, primary custody involves one parent who has guardianship over the child. The other parent has no legal right to see or care for their child. The custodial parent may allow contact, but it is not required by the court.
You and your spouse can discuss your child custody needs and concerns during mediation. If you cannot come to an agreement, the court may need to step in. However, even if you agree to a child custody schedule, the court has to approve your arrangement.
Child custody law is very strict. The Colorado government is very serious about ensuring they place children in safe, nurturing homes. The court reviews your child custody agreement proposition to be certain it provides stable, safe housing for your child or children.
Collaborative Divorce and Spousal Support
Spousal support is another topic you will have to discuss in mediation. This can be difficult, as it is easy for couples to argue about finances. Spousal support generally occurs when one spouse has been the primary breadwinner, and the other spouse has stayed home to care for children or tend to the home. During a divorce, the primary breadwinner may need to pay the other spouse in monthly installments to help the spouse to build a new life. They may need to seek special job training or get qualified before they can get a job, especially if they have been out of the workforce for a while.
Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
Though there are few legal requirements for a collaborative divorce, it does work better for some couples than for others. It is important to be honest about your boundaries and capabilities when deciding how your divorce should proceed.
Couples who are best suited for collaborative divorce are splitting amicably or can act cordially with one another. You are going to need to come to many different agreements, so it is important that you both have open minds and are working together. This can be difficult for many divorcing couples.
For mediation to work, it is also best if you do not have any extenuating circumstances that make your case more complicated. If you own a business together, have a high net worth, or are facing other similar situations, collaborative divorce might not be a good choice.
Contact our Collaborative Law Attorneys at Woody Law Firm, LLC
If you are curious about whether collaborative divorce is right for you or are looking to hire a family law attorney to mediate your collaborative divorce, trust our team at Woody Law Firm, LLC. We have significant experience and understanding in this areaand have many years of experience in family law. We have helped many couples through the divorce process, and we would be happy to help you and your spouse collaborate on divorce terms.
For more information about how we can support you, contact Woody Law Firm, LLC online today.