If you are facing a divorce in Denver, CO, you must understand your options. All divorces are different, and there are several ways you can approach the situation. Though many people do not realize it, divorcing couples get to choose how they want to navigate their divorce process.
Divorce mediation, or collaborative divorce, gives couples an alternative to classic courtroom litigation. There are many benefits to this method, and it is essential to understand them before you make any decisions about your divorce. Though the process is beneficial for many people, it is not for everyone. You will need to be honest and realistic about your needs and capabilities if you are considering a collaborative divorce.
Courtroom Litigation vs. Collaborative Divorce
When most people think of divorce, they think of courtroom scenes in which attorneys argue on behalf of their clients and the judge comes to a conclusion. This is called courtroom litigation. In these situations, the couple does not have to interact with one another. Instead, they rely on their attorneys to negotiate the terms of their divorce.
In a collaborative divorce, there are a couple of different ways to handle it:
- You and your spouse have your own attorney-mediator. In this situation, you and your spouse each have an attorney-mediator, and the four of you sit down to discuss the terms of the divorce.
- There is only one attorney for both parties. In this case, one attorney acts as a mediator between the couple as they discuss the terms of their divorce themselves. The couple must find a solution for each aspect of their divorce and agree upon the terms. The mediating attorney is there to facilitate the conversation, ensure that the couple addresses all necessary issues, and make sure the conclusion is legal.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
There are many benefits to collaborative divorce that make it appealing for couples. For some, these benefits outweigh any risks or negatives that may occur. For others, courtroom litigation is still the best option.
Some benefits of collaborative divorce include:
- Time savings. When you do not have to deal with the courtroom schedule and two attorneys, the process tends to progress much more quickly.
- Financial savings. The shorter time period helps to conserve legal fees and keep costs low.
- Self-advocacy. When you use collaborative divorce, you can speak for yourself during negotiations. You can discuss any concerns that you have, assets that you want to retain, and your desired terms of the divorce. This process often makes people feel heard and empowered, as they get to act as their own advocate rather than having their lawyer speak for them.
- Less stress. The process for collaborative divorce is generally more relaxed than in a courtroom setting. Courtrooms can be intimidating, but collaborative divorce can be more informal and take place in a casual location. This often puts couples at ease and helps to ease the stress of the divorce process.
There may be other benefits of a collaborative divorce in your personal situation. You can speak with one of our collaborative divorce attorneys if you are curious about how a collaborative divorce may work for you.
Potential Negative Aspects of a Collaborative Divorce
It is important to note that there are possible negatives to the collaborative divorce process. Noting these aspects is important when making an informed decision about how you want your divorce to proceed.
Potential negative aspects of collaborative divorce include:
- Possibility of impasse. You and your spouse may be unable to come to a compromise. In these situations, you can spend a significant amount of time trying to negotiate and still end without a solution.
- Switch to litigation. If both spouses agree to a collaborative divorce, it is still possible for one spouse to move to use courtroom litigation instead. If this happens, the attorney is still bound to the collaborative divorce agreement. This means you have to find entirely new attorneys to move to courtroom litigation and start over in the divorce process.
- Potential emotions. Though divorce is almost always emotional, collaborative divorce presents a unique setting that can be difficult for some people. You have to interact with your spouse a significant amount throughout the process, and it may bring up feelings or frustrations.
- Limited scope. Collaborative divorce cannot settle certain aspects of some divorces. If you have a business, have significant assets, or have other extenuating circumstances, it may not be legal or practical for you to try to come to a conclusion on your own. In these situations, a judge’s help is often required.
These negatives do not apply to all situations, and many people find that collaborative divorce is worth any potential issues. Talk to your spouse at length about this to be sure that you are making the decision that is right for both of you.
Requirements for Collaborative Divorce
There are no legal requirements that qualify couples for a collaborative divorce. However, this setup works better in some situations than in others. These guidelines outline traits that will make you a good candidate for a smooth, low-stress collaborative divorce.
Ability to Communicate
Though many couples divorce because of communication issues, being able to communicate is required to navigate a collaborative divorce. Though you do not have to enjoy talking to your spouse, you do need to be able to talk about your needs, wants, frustrations, and boundaries with them.
No Extenuating Circumstances
Collaborative divorces are best for couples without too many added factors. It is normal to have property and children with your spouse, but things like owning a business, investing in the stock market, and owning significant assets can be too complicated to discuss on your own. These situations may require two attorneys to determine a proper settlement.
Willingness to Compromise
Divorce requires a lot of compromising, and it becomes very obvious during collaborative divorce proceedings. You and your spouse need to be willing to negotiate and come up with creative solutions if you want to successfully use mediation.
Contact Woody Law Firm, LLC
If you and your spouse are seeking a divorce and believe that mediation or collaborative divorce may be for you, you can trust our team to help. Contact Woody Law Firm, LLC online for more information.