One of the first things to do when you decide on divorce is to immediately contact a family law attorney. An experienced lawyer can provide you with the emotional support you need to go through this difficult time. Depending on your case’s specifics, they can also guide you through the best divorce approach to take.
Separation and divorce in North Carolina take a stringent process. Fortunately, there are much better options for divorce than litigation. For example, there’s the collaborative divorce process that offers numerous benefits for estranged couples. So if you don’t want a public divorce with lots of hostilities, you may want to consider a collaborative divorce.
Collaborative divorce doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be any disagreements during the process. It just implies that all parties to the divorce will resolve the issues respectfully and honorably. We’ll let you in on all you need to know about collaborative divorce in this article. Read on to learn more.
What’s Collaborative Divorce?
Divorce impacts not only on the separating couple but the children of the marriage too. As a result, all the parties in a divorce proceeding must handle it as tactfully as possible. That’s one of the reasons why family courts came to be in North Carolina in the 1990s. However, while family courts are not overly adversarial compared to traditional courts, it’s not entirely non-intrusive either.
Fortunately, collaborative divorce provides a better and non-contentious approach to separation than family courts. In collaborative divorce, the parties sign a participation agreement that outlines the rules that must be followed in the process. These will usually include regulations that:
- Protect the children of the divorce
- Prohibit parties from court proceedings and adversarial methods
- Dictates the scope of the attorneys’ participation and interference
- Ensure that both parties handle the proceedings in good faith, etc.
In collaborative divorce, parties don’t file processes or project their resentments. Instead, they communicate directly and respectfully with each other to reach an amicable solution to their problems. However, like the court system, they both have access to their separate attorneys.
Their lawyers will ensure that their client’s rights are protected throughout the process. They’re also there to help their clients understand the legal implications of whatever decisions they make. If both parties cannot reach an agreement and decide to go to court, the lawyers must withdraw themselves from the case.
The Difference Between Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce
It’s pretty easy to confuse collaborative divorce with divorce mediation. That’s because they involve similar processes and are both alternatives to litigation. However, they’re different in the following ways:
Attorney Vs. Unbiased Third Party
One of the significant differences between divorce mediation and collaborative divorce is the presence of attorneys. Divorce mediation requires the presence of a neutral mediator who will help the couple to reach a mutual settlement. The mediator acts as a peacemaker and doesn’t have to be a lawyer. With collaborative divorce, however, each party has a family law attorney representing their interests.
We like to view litigation and divorce mediation as two ends of a spectrum. However, collaborative divorce merges some elements of conventional litigation and divorce mediation.
Collaborative divorce takes a much more formal process than divorce mediation. As a result, it may be more expensive too.
Is Collaborative Divorce More Advantageous Than Divorce Mediation?
Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation are both effective ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) methods for divorce. However, the peculiarities of your case may determine which strategy is more suitable for you.
For example, collaborative divorce is much better if the couple needs to quell any pre-existing power imbalance in the relationship. Having individual lawyers acting in both parties’ interests can help to even out imbalances. That way, no party will feel disadvantaged in the process.
It’s also necessary when they need someone else to help them settle specific legal, financial, and psychological issues. Otherwise, divorce mediation is a less costly method of separation than collaborative divorce. It’s a viable option if both parties prioritize flexibility and need more control over the process.
Get in Touch With a Charlotte Family Lawyer Immediately!
Deciding on divorce from your partner is a tough choice on its own. You don’t have to make it more challenging by taking on a complex and adversarial divorce process. There are other non-antagonistic ways to end your marriage gracefully.
Our divorce attorneys at Waple and Houk can walk you through the suitable options for your case. We’ll be there for you every step of the way to ensure that you get through your divorce smoothly. So, contact us for a free case evaluation immediately. We’ve got your best interest at heart.