The Negotiation Process of a Collaborative Divorce in North Carolina

If you are approaching a divorce in North Carolina for the first time, you may be slightly unsure about the overall process. What happens first? How do you take your first steps toward separation? When should you get your attorney involved, and how do you negotiate for a fair divorce settlement? These are all important questions, and they are probably best left answered by a legal professional – such as a divorce attorney in North Carolina. The truth is that a divorce can be a relatively simple and quick process. This is especially true if you choose a collaborative divorce. This type of divorce usually takes just a few weeks to finalize, and the negotiations can be expedited with a number of effective strategies.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a collaborative divorce, your best bet is to get in touch with a divorce attorney in North Carolina. Ideally, you should connect with a lawyer who has experience with collaborative divorce; our legal professionals can explain the ins and outs of this unique system in a clear manner. The next stage is to move forward with your collaborative divorce and strive for the best possible outcomes with the assistance of your attorney.

The Waiting Period

The first stage of most divorces in North Carolina is to go through a mandatory 12-month period. This is true whether you have chosen a collaborative divorce or a litigated divorce. This period is intended to give families a “cooling off” period during which they can rethink their choices and get back together if at all possible. The goal of this 12-month period is to keep families together if at all possible.

While this waiting period can be frustrating, it does not need to be completely unproductive. You can take this time to discuss the details of your divorce with your spouse and start to plan out various aspects of this legal process. For example, you might start discussing matters like child custody, child support, alimony, or property division. You can even start drafting a divorce settlement during this period – creating a basic outline even without the assistance of an attorney.

Convincing Your Former Spouse to Agree to a Collaborative Divorce

At some point, you will need to convince your spouse that a collaborative divorce is the right choice. This should be easy, as there are many benefits of a collaborative divorce that you can mention. However, it should be noted that unless your spouse agrees to go through with this, you cannot move forward with a collaborative divorce. If your spouse disagrees that this is the right course of action, you will have no choice but to pursue a litigated divorce instead.

Informal Discovery

One of the first stages of a collaborative divorce is an “informal discovery” process. This is when you and your spouse present various information and documents to help your negotiations go as smoothly as possible. Each spouse is obligated to share as much information as possible during this process, and they should provide any information that is requested by the other party. However, they are not legally obligated to do this, and there are no real penalties if they fail to provide certain information. In other words, spouses follow the “honor system.” It should be noted that collaborative divorce relies heavily on trust.


After this point, spouses are ready to start negotiating. Collaborative divorce attorneys are skilled negotiators who can help both spouses reach a favorable outcome. Usually, spouses are able to agree upon a settlement that can serve the best interests of the entire family – including the children. In many cases, negotiations can be finalized within a few weeks. After the negotiations are complete, both spouses will finalize their divorce settlement.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina, your best bet is to get in touch with Arnold & Smith, PLLC as soon as possible. The sooner you get in touch with this law firm, the sooner you can begin the process of your collaborative divorce. Although this process can seem daunting if you have never gone through a divorce before, you will quickly learn that it is much easier than you might have thought. During your first consultation, Arnold & Smith will explain every aspect of this process, giving you the confidence to move forward and move on with your life as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Book your consultation today.