A recent development in divorce negotiation is collaboration. When both parties agree to the divorce and are committed to an amicable process but haven’t reached agreement on major issues, collaborate divorce may be a good option.
In collaborative law, all parties work together to find fair and reasonable solutions to complicated issues. You, your spouse and your respective attorneys meet to negotiate division of assets, assignment of debts, child custody, and spousal and child support. The goal is to meet the needs of both parties in a fair and peaceful manner, without resorting to the grueling and expensive process of a trial.
Attorneys who practice collaborative law have been trained to do so and remain committed to reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. The cost savings compared to the expense of a divorce trial can be tremendous. However, be aware that if negotiations break down and an agreement is not reached, both attorneys will have to withdraw from the case. Both you and your spouse will have to retain different legal counsel to represent you in court.
Collaborative divorce is an excellent option for couples when:
• Both you and your spouse want the divorce.
• You both communicate well and are on good terms with each other.
• You both want an agreement that is fair to both parties and to your children.
Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation in its goals, but differs in its methods. When couples mediate, an objective third party works with both spouses to facilitate communication between them. The mediator is neutral; his or her role is not to promote an agenda or support the interests of either party, but strictly to help both parties find a compromise. Conversely, you and your spouse will each have the counsel and support of an attorney during collaborative divorce meetings. While the goal is still to reach mutually agreeable compromises, your lawyer’s role is to advise you of your rights and protect your interests.
The benefits of collaborative divorce go beyond cost savings. The process is cooperative rather than contentious in nature, so it preserves the integrity and mutual respect of both spouses. In addition to having the security of knowing your needs will be met, the process lays the foundation for a positive relationship in the future, which is especially helpful for divorcing partners who will be raising children together after the final decree is issued.
The McLeod Law Firm, P.C. provides quality legal representation for collaborative divorce cases throughout North Georgia including Hall County: Clermont, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Lula, Murrayville, and Oakwood; Banks County: Gillsville, Homer, Maysville, and Commerce; Barrow County: Winder; Dawson County: Dawsonville; Forsyth County: Cumming; Gwinnett County: Buford; White County: Cleveland and Helen; Lumpkin County: Dahlonega; Habersham County: Baldwin, Clarkesville, Cornelia and Demorest; Jackson County: Jefferson, Braselton, Hoschton, Pendergrass and Talmo, GA.