How Do I Start a Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce might seem a little complicated, but it is actually quite a straightforward process. That said, it can still be difficult to know where to begin. So how do you actually start the collaborative divorce process in North Carolina? Getting started requires careful thought and consideration, as collaborative divorce is not for everyone. Before you take your first steps, you need to make sure it is the right choice for you.

If you do choose collaborative divorce, you can expect a number of important benefits. Firstly, collaborative divorces are typically much cheaper than litigated divorces. They are also less time-consuming. These two factors create a much less stressful situation as a whole. If you would like to explore the full range of benefits that collaborative divorce can provide, speak with one of our qualified family law attorneys.

Speak With Your Former Spouse

The first thing you need to do is speak with your former spouse about your plans to pursue a collaborative divorce. They do not call it a “collaborative” divorce for nothing. If you are serious about going through this process, you will need to work with your former spouse every step of the way. In addition, both spouses need to agree to pursue this option. If your former spouse is intent on choosing a litigated, trial-based divorce, there is really nothing you can do about it.

So if you want to start a collaborative divorce, you should meet with your former spouse and discuss your thoughts on the matter. Be prepared to explain the benefits of this approach, and try to determine whether it is a truly viable solution. If spouses are too combative, a collaborative divorce may not work. Both spouses need to be willing to compromise and work together to achieve a favorable outcome.

Speaking with your spouse ahead of time also comes with additional benefits. If you like, you can talk about how you would like to handle specific aspects of your divorce. For example, you might decide how to handle the family home even before any lawyers get involved. Or perhaps you will decide how long alimony should last. These early decisions are incredibly helpful, as you can simply tell your attorneys about these plans without having to negotiate for hours.

Find an Attorney

The next thing you will need to do is find an attorney. Both spouses will need legal representation, and you will need to find an attorney who is experienced with collaborative divorce. But wait a second – why do you need a lawyer if you are avoiding the trial process? Well, you still need a lawyer to draft your separation agreement. These are legal documents that need to be worded very carefully, and even a small mistake can make them invalid.

In addition, your attorney can help you and your spouse overcome certain impasses. For example, you might have agreed upon virtually every aspect of your divorce except for child support. Because these collaborative divorce lawyers are specially trained to promote collaboration and cooperation, they can assist in negotiations and resolve disputes.

Sign the Agreement

Before you truly begin the collaborative divorce process, you will also need to sign a special preliminary agreement. You and your spouse will need to commit to this process and agree to try your best to end the marriage without going to court. This is a serious commitment, and you will actually need to sign the document. In addition, both attorneys will also need to sign an agreement stating that they will not go to trial. This is an important thing to remember because it means that you will need to get a new lawyer if the negotiations fail.

Where Can I Find a Collaborative Divorce Attorney in North Carolina?

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified collaborative divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We know that taking that first step toward collaborative divorce can be daunting, but we are here to help you along every step of the way. Book your consultation with us at your earliest convenience, and we can assist you as you get started with your collaborative divorce. Not only can we help you understand more about how this process works, but we can also guide you forward and help you negotiate effectively with your spouse. Reach out today, and we can immediately get the ball rolling.