For couples who are still on relatively amicable terms despite the breakdown of their marriages, collaborative divorce proceedings can be a less stressful and healthier way to decide on important issues without anger or recriminations. These divorce arrangements require the cooperation of both parties and can sometimes reduce the financial and emotional cost of divorce in the state of California. By choosing to work collaboratively to resolve issues, you have a better opportunity to achieve the most positive outcomes for you and your family.
The Initial Agreement
The first step towards your collaborative arrangement is to sign a contract that clearly outlines the expectations of each party. In most cases, these contracts include an agreement not to involve a judge in the decision-making process and to disqualify your collaborative attorneys from litigating for either party if the collaborative process ends. Instead, you and your former partner will negotiate the best solutions for your situation with the help of attorneys who specialize in these types of divorce arrangements.
What to Expect
Depending on the type of collaborative divorce arrangement you choose, you and your ex-spouse will consult with a collaboratively trained attorney of your choosing. These two attorneys will then become a part of the collaborative team that works with you to resolve those issues unique to your situation. Your negotiation and resolution process may take a shorter or longer time depending on how quickly you and your partner can agree on various issues.
Outside Expertise May Be Required
If you and your partner have accumulated considerable assets or debts during your marriage, you may require additional professionals such accountants or financial planners to help value assets owned by the two of you. These advisors can provide information about the assets and debts acquired during the marriage, and along with your attorneys, offer guidance or counsel regarding the best ways to allocate these financial resources and liabilities.
Child Custody and Support
Deciding what parenting plan is best for your children, and implementing arrangements for their education, medical care, and religious upbringing can be among the most challenging and emotional aspects of divorce for families with children. By working together and keeping an open mind, you can help to avoid resentment and anger while ensuring the best outcomes for your children.
Honesty Is the Key to Success
Successful collaboration requires both parties to honest and transparent about their assets, their projected incomes and the living arrangements they can provide for minor children. By maintaining an atmosphere of openness and cooperation, you and your former spouse can come up with creative solutions that can help both of you make a fresh start.
Collaborative divorce arrangements are not right for every couple. If you and your partner can set aside any lingering feelings of anger or resentment, this alternative to a traditional divorce proceeding may be the right solution for you!
If you live in or around Fresno, California, and find yourself searching for additional guidance on whether a collaborative divorce may be for you, contact the Law Offices of Julia Ann Brungess.
Call 559-226-4008 to schedule an appointment today!