In addition to mediation and arbitration, Collaborative Divorce is a method of alternative dispute resolution for obtaining a divorce.
Generally, parties entering into collaborative law do so prior to filing the divorce complaint. At the first meeting, the parties sign an agreement saying that they are committed to the process and will be honest with each other and the professionals during the process. Unlike divorce litigation, collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial process wherein the parties hire their own attorney's and other professionals to help them reach an agreement on how best to resolve their issues. The other professionals include a financial advisor that works with the parties to assure each has sufficient income following the divorce and counselors for the parties and the children if they are needed.
During collaborative divorce, the parties meet together and separately with the professionals.
The process is very open, honest, and complete disclosure is required for the process to work.
The parties agree that communications and knowledge learned through collaborative divorce meetings cannot be used in court. The attorney that represents a party in a collaborative divorce cannot represent the client if a contest divorce proceeding is filed. When child custody, child support, and spousal support are issues in a divorce, they also becomes issues in
the collaborative divorce process
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