Collaborative divorce is an alternative to the standard court procedures generally involved in the dissolution of marriage. If you live in the state of California and you and your partner are committed to doing what is best for your family, you can choose a collaborative divorce where you and your spouse can maintain control through every step of the divorce process. If interested, here are five of the most important facts you should know about collaborative divorces in California.
You Will Still Need a Lawyer
Your attorney is responsible for protecting your legal rights throughout your divorce proceedings. Differences of opinion and conflicts can arise. Collaborative divorce anticipates these potential differences and requires each party to retain his or her collaborative attorney who represents you throughout the process. As part of the team, your attorney will help you construct the best outcome for your family.
Financial Issues Often Present Obstacles
Before signing on to the collaborative divorce process, it is important to become familiar with the financial aspects of your divorce to determine how best to divide assets and debts. Making sure that you and your former partner are on the same page financially and that both of you are aware of all outstanding debts and assets can reduce the risk of a critical breakdown in the process that could increase the cost of your divorce considerably.
A Contract Will Be Required
Many teams that specialize in collaborative divorces require that both partners sign a contract at the outset of these proceedings. The agreement may include stipulations that neither party to the divorce will engage in certain activities, including the following:
• Filing motions in court
• Threatening to file legal actions
• Withholding relevant information about financial assets and debts
Failure to adhere to these contractual agreements can result in the termination of the process and the loss of any funds invested in the process. As a result, it is a good idea to ensure that both you and your former spouse commit to this method before signing on the dotted line.
Collaborative Solutions Can Work Better for Couples with Children
If you have minor children, choosing a collaborative solution can be healthier and less stressful for these members of your family. By demonstrating that you are willing to work with your partner to reach a common goal, you will model good behavior for your children and provide them with greater security as they navigate the new situation. Collaborating to find the best solutions for your children can allow you to create an atmosphere of cooperation and goodwill with the other parent after your divorce is final.
Both Partners Must Agree
In the state of California, collaborative divorce is an optional and voluntary process. Even if you prefer this method of divorce, your spouse or partner must also agree to the contractual obligations and the process before you can begin a collaborative divorce. Making sure that both you and your partner understand the process and are ready to work together can streamline the dissolution of your marriage.
The collaborative divorce process works most efficiently when both partners proceed with honesty and respect for each other. If you are still on civil terms and able to discuss financial and personal matters with each other, then this process may be a better, healthier way to dissolve your marriage and move ahead to the future.
If you and your spouse are interested in seeking a collaborative divorce and live in or around Fresno, California call 559-226-4008 today! The collaborative attorneys from the Law Office of Julia Ann Brungess are motivated to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution for all parties.