What Do I Need to Prove in a Collaborative Divorce?

For spouses approaching a North Carolina divorce for the first time, this legal process can seem quite complex. Many are only vaguely aware of how this all works, and they may be basing their assumptions primarily on what they have seen from various legal dramas and courtroom thrillers. The truth is that a divorce can be handled in a multitude of different ways depending on the unique elements of each situation. For some, it may be important to prove certain things in order to gain an advantage. But is this really necessary? What exactly do you need to prove?

If you have decided to pursue a collaborative divorce, it makes sense to get in touch with an experienced collaborative law attorney in North Carolina as soon as possible. Our legal professionals can help you understand the ins and outs of this legal process as best as possible. We can also guide you through every step of your divorce, helping you walk away from your marriage with a sense of dignity and accomplishment. It is best to work with lawyers who have specific experience with collaborative divorce if you have chosen this method.

You Only Have to Prove Things in a Litigated Divorce

The first thing you need to know is that it is only necessary to “prove” certain things if you are going through a trial. In other words, you do not really need to worry about this unless you are pursuing a litigated divorce. This type of process pits spouses against each other in a very combative manner. Evne spouses who split up on relatively amicable terms are forced to adopt a “me vs. them” mentality that can affect the family for many years to come. Because of the nature of a litigated divorce, spouses may feel encouraged to prove that their exes engaged in some kind of misconduct during the marriage in order to get an upper hand. This can lead to lasting feelings of bitterness and resentment that can cause a multitude of issues – especially if children are involved.

There Is an Informal Discovery Process in a Collaborative Divorce

On the other hand, collaborative divorce does not really require you to “prove” anything in particular. Instead, this far less combative approach focuses on cooperation and collaboration between spouses while avoiding the trial process entirely. Instead of trying to “score points” during a trial, spouses try to work out their differences behind closed doors, with the assistance of their respective attorneys. After a negotiation period that is usually quite short, spouses create a separation agreement that outlines how the divorce will be handled in a legal context. This agreement includes matters related to child support, child custody, alimony, and property division.

With all that said, there is something called an “informal discovery process” during a collaborative divorce. Although this is not quite the same as presenting evidence during a trial, the same basic principles apply. The goal of this process is to share as much information as possible between spouses so that they can make accurate and fair decisions. Generally speaking, this mainly involves financial documents such as mortgage statements, income statements, tax returns, and so on. The goal is to analyze this information closely so that spouses can walk away with “their fair share.”

On the other hand, accusations of misconduct are not uncommon during collaborative divorces. If a spouse can back this up with proof, it may serve as a “bargaining chip” during the negotiation. For example, one spouse might show that they have proof their ex has a substance abuse issue. They might then argue that because of this obvious problem, they should be the primary custodial guardian of the children. The other spouse might admit that their substance abuse issue is a legitimate problem, and they may negotiate to ensure that they at least continue to spend some time with their children after the divorce.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified collaborative law attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous spouses, and we know that divorce can be quite a daunting prospect. However, it is not quite as complex as you might think, especially if you choose collaborative divorce and work with legal professionals. With our assistance, you can pursue a favorable outcome in a confident, efficient manner. Book your consultation now to get started.