You have many options when it comes to resolving your divorce. Many legal professionals will tell you that it is in your best interest to find a method that will allow you to settle your case outside of the courtroom. The reason for this is that when the judge decides your case, he or she must follow the law completely and will not usually consider what each of you wants.
You and your spouse are better able to resolve your marriage because you know what you want, and you can negotiate and come to agreements between the two of you. Of the many alternative dispute resolution options, collaborative divorce is starting to become a common choice.
Collaborative divorce, according to the American Bar Association, is when you and your spouse each use an attorney to negotiate your divorce settlement outside of the courtroom. This is a very simple definition that does not consider the specific requirements and details of the collaborative process that differentiate it from other types of ADR.
You will each have your own attorney, but you must note that you will sign an agreement prior to beginning that states you will resolve your divorce outside of court. If you end up having to go to court because you cannot come to an agreement, your attorneys cannot represent you in court. This is important because it means you will have to hire a new attorney and start the process over from scratch.
In addition, another distinguishing factor of the collaborative process is that you will include other professionals as needed. This might be accountants, counselors and experts who can assist with the process and ensure it is successful.