Ending a union can be tumultuous and yield animosity between ex-spouses, so you should consider a collaborative divorce if you or your partner wants to dissolve your marriage. This kind of separation offers many opportunities for parties to meet and exchange notes and questions about what will happen after the marriage ends.
If you are seeking to leave your spouse, you should enlist the help of a steadfast divorce attorney. Get in touch with a Maryland collaborative divorce lawyer to learn more about how you can peacefully present your case.
What Constitutes a Collaborative Divorce?
A collaborative divorce entails all the parties coming together and maintaining an open exchange of information. There is no attorney-client privilege between a party and their lawyer in a collaborative divorce, as everyone should talk honestly about their marriage, finances, what they want to accomplish, and how they want to accomplish it.
This kind of dissolution requires the parties to agree not to litigate and not to go to court except for the ultimate filing of the collaborative divorce. Although, if the parties cannot come to an agreement and either wants to proceed with litigation, then they both have to get new legal counsel and cannot continue with the ones they had during the collaborative process.
Communication in the collaborative divorce process is opposite to that of any other dissolution because the parties’ consultations with their lawyers are not privileged. Anything that a Maryland client tells their attorney must be discussed as a team if it pertains to the collaborative divorce case. Communication entails everyone sitting around a table and discussing the various issues and how to resolve them. Additionally, there is no formal discovery like there is in litigation, meaning each party willingly brings the documents that are asked for and that are necessary in order to proceed.
Parties to a Collaborative Dissolution
The parties that may be involved in a collaborative divorce are the husband and the wife, or the two wives or two husbands as it were, and both would have their own attorneys. A dedicated lawyer could advise them on relevant laws in Maryland and help them structure a legally binding agreement that encompasses the parties’ needs during a collaborative dissolution.
The collaborative process may also summon other experts to the team. Either party can have a divorce coach, for example. They can also bring in a financial neutral, which could be a CPA or some kind of financial advisor, to assist both parties on how to better structure an agreement moving forward. If either party has a therapist, they may keep them during litigation. Depending on the needs of either party, there are a number of professionals that could come in and assist them in reaching an agreement. Even attorneys’ fees are an issue that is brought to the table in collaborative divorce and is ultimately solved by both parties together. Someone within the realm of real estate could also be brought in if parties need advice on real estate appraisal or properties. If the children in a divorce have a therapist, that professional could also potentially be included if the privilege of the kids is waived.
The main benefit in participating in a collaborative divorce is that the parties agree not to use litigation, as it can be expensive, time-consuming, and create animosity and resentment. Those who are invested in working through their issues outside of court will ultimately be the deciders of their families’ fates, as they are agreeing not to let a stranger — a judge — determine the outcome of their marriage.
The Role of an Attorney
The role of legal counsel in a collaborative divorce is to advise their client about relevant laws and how they could affect their situation. Ultimately, an attorney is there to help facilitate a legally binding agreement, file the necessary paperwork to get the parties separated, and draft any agreement that is reached.
Call a Maryland Collaborative Divorce Attorney Today
Divorce can be a difficult process and give rise to resentment among parties. Fortunately, estranged couples may file for a collaborative divorce if they are willing to engage in open and transparent communication will all parties and legal representatives. This kind of marriage dissolution allows parties to navigate the issues of their union in a peaceful and rational way which promotes their needs.
If you wish to end your marriage through the use of open and honest communication, call a Maryland collaborative divorce lawyer who can help prepare you for the process. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about your options.