Understanding Collaborative Divorce in North Carolina

It is estimated that as much as 95% of all divorce cases in the United States are settled outside of court. Huntersville is no exception to this trend. Across the country, collaborative divorce is gaining attention from lawyers and spouses alike as a proactive and less stressful alternative to full-blown litigation. There are several reasons why a collaborative divorce may be right for you. Below is some information so that you can understand the basics of this process.

Why Collaborative Divorce Works

When the divorcing parties actually follow the agreement that they and their respective attorneys signed going into their collaborative divorce process, studies show that a satisfactory divorce settlement is realized faster than other types of negotiations. At the same time, the collaborative divorce process greatly reduces the trauma — emotional, financial, and otherwise - that families going through a divorce typically experience. This is particularly true if there are any children involved as they tend to receive the brunt of the emotional aspect of divorce. Likewise, the couple is able to reduce the typical expenses incurred during divorce, protecting the family from unnecessary depletion of financial resources that could be better used elsewhere.

Not Mediation or Arbitration

Collaborative divorce in is not the same as mediation or arbitration - other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Instead of collaborative divorce being a dispute resolution, it is a voluntary process by which the parties set, agree, and enter into ground rules. These rules are agreed upon and followed by the couple and their respective attorneys. Simply put, collaborative divorce is client-centered and interest-based.

How Collaborative Divorce Works

While the manner and details in which collaborative divorce is realized successfully differ depending on the attorneys involved, there is a central idea to the process. This idea is that the divorcing couple seeks out and retains separate attorneys who agree ahead of time not to take the case to trial if the collaborative divorce fails. Moreover, all parties agree to full and complete disclosure of information by their respective clients. If at the end of the day the collaborative divorce does not succeed and the parties decide to take the issue to court and litigate, the collaborative divorce attorneys are not permitted to handle the matter. Instead, both attorneys must withdraw from the case and cease representation. The couple will then have to hire new attorneys for the litigation process. These details, and many more, are outlined by the collaborative divorce rules governing the matter.

Why Choose Collaborative Divorce?

If you and your spouse have agreed to only involve divorce attorneys if you two are unable to work things out independently and the separation starts to get heated, then collaborative divorce is likely for you. This is because the collaborative divorce process in allows the parties to enjoy the benefits of having legal counsel without the threat of a court battle or other adversarial and combative aspect of litigation. Additionally, choosing collaborative divorce over running to court can also reduce some tension and stress in each party’s personal life as they both try to go through the separation while simultaneously establishing ground rules for a new chapter in life.

The Role of the Attorneys

Attorneys hired to handle a collaborative divorce in Huntersville help their respective clients make informed decisions about financial issues. This can be particularly helpful in a collaborative divorce because both sides specifically agreed to provide full disclosure of their financial picture in order to resolve the matter.

One important aspect where a collaborative divorce attorney can provide financial advice to his or her client involves the complicated IRS rules and the hidden financial pitfalls of the federal agency’s tax code with regard to retirement accounts. A skilled Huntersville collaborative divorce attorney can ensure that the divorce agreement is drafted in such a way that neither party is later hit with unexpected expenses, costs, or imposed taxes.

Additionally, a collaborative divorce attorney will ensure that his or her client is fully aware and understands the law governing the case, the rights and obligations under the agreement, as well as the legal implications of any decisions. These attorneys also assist in making the process of separating marital assets more peaceful due to the focus on communication and making requests versus demands.

Collaborative Divorce Help

The North Carolina family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help guide you through the collaborative divorce process throughout the greater Charlotte region. We can help you decide whether or not collaborative divorce is the best option for your situation and assist you throughout the process. Contact us today for a consultation.