How Spouses Can Prepare for Collaborative Divorce
If you are considering collaborative divorce, you might be wondering what kind of steps you need to take in order to prepare for this process. You might be assuming that relatively few steps are needed, since collaborative divorce is known for being much more straightforward than a litigated divorce. While this is true, it is important to give this process necessary care and consideration. If you fail to prepare adequately, you could make your collaborative divorce lengthier than it needs to be. This can increase costs. On the other hand, adequate preparation can help make your collaborative divorce as seamless as possible, allowing you to wrap this process up quickly while making the most of its various advantages. So, how exactly do you prepare for a collaborative divorce?
Your first step should be to get in touch with a divorce attorney in North Carolina. By connecting with a lawyer who has experience with collaborative law, you will be setting a solid foundation for the road ahead. During your initial consultation with a collaborative law attorney, you will have the chance to explain the unique circumstances of your divorce. Your attorney will then offer personalized legal advice based on your specific needs and priorities. Perhaps most crucially, your attorney will also guide you through the collaborative law process, from the preparation stage right until the completion of the divorce. It is best to get in touch with a qualified attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling.Speak With Your Spouse
The first step is to broach the topic of a collaborative divorce to your spouse. Remember, both spouses need to agree to this process for it to move forward. If your spouse decides that they would rather go ahead with a litigated divorce, there is really nothing you can do. This means that it is often important to present the idea of a collaborative divorce in a positive light. Thankfully, this is actually very easy – because there are many notable benefits.
Tell your spouse how collaborative divorce can save you a fortune in legal fees. You might also want to mention how the divorce can be resolved much quicker than a traditional, litigated divorce. Finally, do not forget to highlight that this process is typically less stressful and puts less pressure on any children who are going through a traumatic experience.Set Goals
Once you and your spouse have agreed to try a collaborative divorce, it is time to set goals. What do you want to get out of the negotiations? Do you need to walk away from the marriage with certain assets, like a house or a vehicle? What about child custody and child support? What do your children need to live a positive life post-divorce? Is spousal support necessary? If so, how much, and for how long? These are all questions you should be asking yourself before you even set foot in the negotiation room.Gather Evidence
In a collaborative divorce, spouses go through an “informal” discovery process. Unlike a normal discovery process in a litigated divorce, this pre-trial stage is not subject to strict rules involving proper evidence and sharing of information. However, it is still important to approach this stage with a certain level of care. Evidence can make all the difference in your negotiation, as you can back up your claims and give greater credibility to what you are saying. You may want to search for financial documents such as income statements, mortgage statements, and tax returns.Meet Before the Negotiations
Before the negotiations begin, you might want to meet up one final time with your spouse. During this meeting, consider going over the various aspects of the separation, including child support, child custody, alimony, and property division. You may find that you agree on many of these subjects. If you can work out how you would like to handle these issues before your negotiations, you can minimize the time you will need with your attorneys. This will help lower costs.Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching for a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina who has experience with collaborative law, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous spouses in the Tar Heel State, and we know that taking your first steps toward collaborative divorce can seem daunting. Book a consultation, and you will quickly learn that this process is extremely straightforward when you are being guided along by a qualified attorney. We can help you prepare for the negotiations before making sure you walk away from your marriage with a sense of confidence and dignity. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help.