There are a variety of divorce options available to married couples in California. A collaborative divorce might be the best solution for couples who prefer to avoid traditional court proceedings.
The collaborative divorce process
With collaborative divorce, spouses work together on all terms to legally end their marriage. This gives both better control over the process and gives them the chance to avoid a long, drawn-out battle in court. Collaborative divorce uses many of the same principles as mediation, which lets them negotiate so they can agree on any matters of concern.
Both parties must agree to the terms in the end, or collaborative divorce will not be an option. If they do agree, each gets their own attorney and meets with them separately and privately. Each spouse tells their respective attorney what they want and expect from the divorce settlement. Usually, this includes matters like child custody, alimony and property division.
Later, each spouse and their respective attorneys meet together to discuss everything and sign an agreement. If an agreement is reached, the divorce can proceed. If there isn’t any agreement, the attorneys withdraw from the case and the divorce goes to trial in court.
When collaborative divorce is appropriate
In most cases, spouses can determine early on whether the collaborative divorce process is right for them. If they are willing to negotiate and compromise, it can work. Being open and fair-minded can help. Another benefit is being able to communicate effectively.
Couples who have a history of domestic violence should not use collaborative divorce. Likewise, those who don’t have such a history in their marriage but have trouble communicating with one another should skip the process. In these situations, a contested divorce would be more appropriate.
When working together to settle the matters of your marriage is possible, a collaborative divorce might be suitable for your situation.