Many New Yorkers, yourself included, might be under the assumption that having significant assets and child custody concerns automatically means you are heading to court when you seek a divorce. Fortunately, there are uncontested options that can have significant advantages over litigation, if an uncontested divorce is right for you. Collaborative law can be especially beneficial when you have complex property division or child custody issues to work out with your spouse. It is important to understand how a collaborative divorce works because the process is somewhat more complicated than a mediated divorce.
According to FindLaw, collaborative law shares numerous advantages with mediation over litigation, which can include the following:
- Being more cost-effective and less time-consuming than taking your disputes to court
- Significantly reducing the conflict you and your children experience during the divorce process
- Allowing you and your spouse to air out your disagreements in a neutral environment
- Being private, rather than your disputes becoming a matter of public record
- Allowing both of you to reach mutually agreeable solutions to your disagreements
- Showing you valuable skills in negotiation, communication and compromise that you can continue to use throughout your life, especially while co-parenting
Unlike mediation, which does not require each spouse to have an attorney, you and your spouse will have your own attorneys during a collaborative divorce. You may also involve additional professionals, such as child therapists, financial advisors and tax professionals. The process requires everyone to agree not to litigate, or your attorneys will need to resign from the case. This gives you and your spouse an incentive to see the process through to the end, rather than giving up too quickly and allowing a judge to make decisions that might not be in your best interests.
When you are ready to file for divorce, it is wise to educate yourself on the available options and how they work.