Collaborative divorce involves parties who agree not to litigate their marital issues and to be open and honest with each other. Both parties would hire an attorney, and all matters would be brought to the team of parties and their counsel. The process could take just as long as litigation – and be just as expensive – but the resources are spent differently because the cost of the parties’ attorneys and the expenses for the family are discussed with everyone.
Those who can agree on their marital issues would enter a 10-minute divorce hearing where everything is resolved. If for some reason the Montgomery County collaborative divorce process breaks down and the parties are not able to reach an amicable resolution, they would have to start over and get 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 divorce 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 no attorney-client privilege and that any matter which pertains to the marriage will have to be disclosed to all parties. This means the parties agree not to litigate and to be open, honest, and forthcoming about their finances and goals. Their goal should be to try to mutually and amicably resolve their matters outside of the court.
Parties 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.
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 no attorney-client privilege, so nothing that a person says to their lawyer will be confidential even if they want it to be. All meetings are held with a group, 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.
Benefits of Participating in a 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 could help you 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 the parties coming to an agreement that will be upheld in court.
In the end, the court will have to approve the agreement, especially if there are children involved because it must act in accordance with their best interests. 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 the end of the parties’ marriage and to help the family move forward in their new lives.