Collaborative divorce involves parties who agree not to litigate their marital issues and want to have control over their finances, assets, and children upon divorce. Both parties must hire a collaboratively trained attorney, and both must agree to this process. Besides hiring attorneys, the parties will have the opportunity to hire other professionals to assist them in their dissolution of marriage, such as independent financial advisors, divorce coaches, therapists, and realtors. The process is controlled by the parties’ themselves and could take as long as litigation, but the cost of this process is just one of the issues to be resolved by the parties and their team. The parties must agree to be transparent and honest with a goal to have control over their future instead of relegating their decisions to a judge in a courtroom.
Once all of the marital issues are settled, the parties would execute a comprehensive agreement and proceed to an uncontested divorce. If for some reason the collaborative divorce process breaks down and the parties are not able to reach an amicable resolution, they would each have to start over and hire new attorneys who have not been involved in that process since they agreed not to litigate. To learn more, reach out to a dedicated Montgomery County collaborative divorce lawyer. Let an experienced attorney help you with the process.
Meeting the Requirements for a Collaborative Divorce
A Montgomery County collaborative divorce requires a special retainer agreement the parties must sign with their attorney of choice, stating that they understand there is a different type of attorney-client privilege and that there are different requirements and goals for the collaborative process. This means the parties agree not to litigate and to be open, honest, and forthcoming about their finances and goals and interests and this also means that the final result of this process will be durable. Their goal should be to try to mutually and amicably resolve their matters outside of the court and have control of their destinies.
What Parties Are Involved in a Collaborative Divorce?
The parties who may be involved in a Montgomery County collaborative divorce depend on the particular situation, but each will have their own lawyer. The legal team could be comprised of many other professionals, as well. For example, if real property is involved, they could have a real estate agent or appraiser, or if there are mental health issues involved, either party could have their own mental-health coach as part of the team. Child specialists are also another professional that may get involved in the process if the parties agree.
If there are financial issues, they could have a financial planner or CPA as a financial neutral. However, that person would not work for one of the parties, rather they would work for both as part of a team. If there are any mental health issues with the kids, their therapists could also be part of the team. Each professional is paid in a different way, and the payments for their services are would be discussed with the team.
The main difference in communication in a Montgomery County collaborative divorce is that there is limited attorney-client privilege, and every issue is presented as a problem to be solved by the parties. Also, the goal is not for the attorneys to find the solution it is for the parties’ themselves to decide how to settle their marital issues. Most meetings are held with a group and are not adversarial, which is very different from regular divorce litigation where an attorney and their client have a confidential relationship and nothing that either of them says is subject to disclosure in a deposition or in court.
What Are the Benefits of Participating in a Montgomery County Collaborative Divorce?
The main benefit of participating in a collaborative divorce is that the financial matters will be decided by the group immediately, so the needs of the family will be addressed as opposed to waiting many months for potential relief from the courts. The other benefit is that the parties will have a say in how the rest of their lives will be structured because they are committing to deciding between themselves. In litigation, the goal is to reach an agreement before going to court, but it is not required because, ultimately, the parties are asking the court to decide their marital issues for them.
The Role of an Attorney in a Montgomery County Collaborative Divorce
A member of our steadfast family law legal team can help you navigate to a successful resolution through the collaborative law process and understand the relevant laws as they apply to your case, calculate child support payments, and discuss how alimony would be awarded, to name just a few issues you may need address. A skilled and well-versed legal representative could make a substantial difference in coming to an enduring agreement that addresses your goals and interests.
In the end, the agreement will be submitted to the court to be incorporated and not merged into a judgment of absolute divorce. One of the main roles of the attorney in a Montgomery County collaborative divorce is to draft and/or review agreements reached between the parties, provide information on the current laws, and to draw up the appropriate papers so they can get divorced. The role of a Montgomery County collaborative divorce lawyer is also to work toward an amicable, fair, and collaborative result to a successful resolution of the parties’ marriage and to help the family move forward in their new lives. Call today to schedule a consultation with a professional.