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Commonly Asked Questions About Collaborative Divorce in North Carolina

If you are approaching a divorce in North Carolina, it is only natural to have a few questions. This is especially true if you are going through a divorce for the first time and you have no idea what to expect. Things can become even more confusing when you start learning about collaborative divorce, as this process is unique in many different ways. Unlike the fictional trials you see on television, a collaborative divorce does not take place in a courtroom. Many couples have questions about this process, and it is crucial to address these concerns before you begin your collaborative divorce. It is always a good idea to feel confident and self-assured about the divorce process before you take your first steps.

If you have questions about the collaborative divorce process, you should consult with a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina. Preferably, it would be best if you spoke with an attorney with considerable collaborative divorce experience. These legal professionals can explain every little detail to you in a clear, concise manner. Not only that, but they can actually help you move forward with your collaborative divorce when you are ready. With all that being said, let's attempt to answer some common questions that many spouses have about collaborative divorce:

What Is the Difference Between Collaborative Divorce and Mediation?

Mediation relies on skilled, neutral third parties called mediators to resolve disputes. During these sessions, only the mediator is present. The mediator never "takes sides," and they do not offer legal advice. Their goal is simply to aid negotiations and facilitate a compromise of some kind. Mediation can be used in divorce, but you will still need help from lawyers to draft, revise, and approve any legal agreements that result from mediation.

On the other hand, collaborative divorce involves both spouses and their attorneys. While the goal is still to resolve issues and compromise whenever possible, the attorneys are not neutral and represent their clients' best interest. You will have someone "in your corner" who can offer sound legal advice and make recommendations. Lawyers can also aid in the negotiation process to help you get a better deal. That being said, these collaborative attorneys are still trained to come up with real solutions rather than creating further animosity between spouses. All parties work together in an effective collaborative divorce.

How Do I Protect My Privacy in a Collaborative Divorce?

A collaborative divorce is private. Not only does the entire process occur behind closed doors, but you will also avoid having the details of your divorce put in the public record. This is not the case if your divorce goes to trial. In addition, you and your spouse will sign an agreement before the collaborative process begins, and this document can include a promise not to disclose information to anyone else.

What Happens If Neither Spouse is Willing to Compromise?

Deadlocks are often unavoidable even if both spouses are relatively amicable and willing to work together. Even if it seems like there is no way forward, your trained collaborative attorney can help you work toward a solution through non-adversarial negotiation.

Do We Need Help From Experts?

In addition to your attorneys, you and your spouse may need to get help from other experts. These include child psychologists, financial experts, forensic accountants, and anyone else who might be able to help with certain issues.

Does a Collaborative Divorce Benefit My Kids?

Because collaborative divorce helps you avoid conflict, the overall separation is often easier on your children. Litigated divorces often cause bitterness and resentment because neither spouse has control over the outcome. When parents have the chance to work together and come to agreements, children often view this as a positive sign.

What Does a Judge Do in a Collaborative Divorce?

A judge has an almost inconsequential role in a collaborative divorce. Their only role is to view the separation agreement that is drafted after the negotiations are complete. If everything is in order, they simply sign off on the agreement, and the divorce is finalized.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified attorney who has experience with collaborative divorce, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We can answer any additional questions you might have about this process. Only by understanding collaborative divorce ultimately can you decide whether it is the right choice for you. If you decide that you would like to move ahead with this option, we can then represent you and make sure that you are walking away from your marriage with the best possible legal outcome. Book your consultation today, and we can start developing an effective action plan together.