For many couples, choosing to divorce is the beginning of a difficult, painful time in both parties’ lives. While some couples are able to obtain a simple, or absolute, divorce, and separate easily and equitably without entering a courtroom, for couples with children, joint property, and other factors, the divorce process can be more complicated. Often, those complications turn into a lengthy, expensive courtroom battle that turns bitter and acrimonious as they are trying to get what they see as a fair outcome from the judge.
What if a divorce didn’t have to be difficult or painful? What if both spouses agreed to separate in a dignified manner in which they worked out the terms of their divorce together with the help of their attorneys? This is actually a new option for divorcing, called a “collaborative divorce.” A collaborative divorce lawyer in Mecklenburg County can help you achieve a dignified, amicable divorce so both parties can move forward with a fresh start, feeling confident about the future.
Charlotte collaborative divorce attorneys have special knowledge of mediation and negotiation in divorce and work with their clients to achieve a settlement agreement outside of court. To begin the proceedings, both parties hire their own attorneys, and both sides sign an agreement stating that if there can not be an amicable resolution or settlement reached, the attorneys will withdraw, and the parties will hire new attorneys who will move to litigate in court.
The goal is to not see the inside of a courtroom, though. Before proceedings begin, both parties work with their legal counsel to set goals they would like to achieve during negotiations and create strategies to achieve that outcome. Then, the couple meets to begin the negotiation process, with the collaborative attorneys acting as mediators to keep proceedings civil and productive. During this time, the legal teams may bring in unbiased experts to help the couple reach decisions, including
More couples are choosing to work with collaborative divorce lawyers instead of choosing a traditional divorce. The main reason for this is that this path is often much less stressful than traditional divorce. Instead of focusing on winning and losing or trying to paint the other as a villain in order to get the best outcome from a judge, collaborating allows both parties to work together to create a mutually beneficial outcome.
For couples with children, working together means it’s easier to establish personalized visitation and custody agreements while maintaining strong relationships with extended families. Children see that their parents can still work together even when they aren’t living together, which reduces their emotional stress and pain.
Additionally, choosing to work with a collaborative family law attorney can save thousands of dollars in fees because on average, they are completed in one-fourth the time as a standard divorce. Because couples don’t need to worry about court dates and lengthy battles, the process is shorter, thus, saving money in legal fees.
While working with a collaborative divorce attorney is right for many couples, it’s not the best option for every couple. It’s necessary to be honest and realistic about your situation and ask yourself and your spouse difficult questions. For example, if you can’t be in the same room together without arguing, or you know that neither party is willing to compromise on certain issues, it may benefit both parties and anyone involved to have a judge determine the settlement.
Not every divorce attorney is qualified to represent people as a collaboration. Molly Anthony is part of the NC Collaborative Attorney Network and practices in Charlotte with Southpark Family Law.
If you would like to avoid the lengthy, drawn-out litigation and acrimonious outcomes associated with traditional divorce and want to end your marriage with dignity and goodwill, a collaborative lawyer will work with you to make that happen while still helping you protect your rights. Contact Attorney Molly Anthony with Southpark Family Law at (704) 684-4504 to set up a consultation or learn more about your options.