What Happens When a Collaborative Divorce Fails

It is always a good idea to consider the worst-case scenario. In the case of a collaborative divorce, that worst-case scenario is the failure of all negotiations. So, what happens next? What can couples do if they cannot compromise or come to an agreement? While most collaborative divorces go relatively smoothly, issues can arise when you least expect them. Even spouses who begin the process on amicable terms may discover that they have strong disagreements over the details of their divorce. Generally speaking, the chances of bitterness and resentment are stronger if you choose a litigated divorce, but anything can happen when relationships fall apart and emotions run high.

Of course, the chances of your collaborative divorce failing are much smaller when you work with a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina who has plenty of experience with this process. Our legal professionals are here to help you avoid deadlocks and impasses, and we can employ a range of effective negotiation tactics to help you reach a compromise. Even the most problematic disputes can be resolved with the right approach. If you have questions or concerns about a future collaborative divorce, it is best to consult with one of our attorneys and develop a clear understanding of what happens next.

What Happens After Negotiations Break Down

When negotiations completely break down and it becomes clear that neither spouse can work together to resolve issues, the collaborative divorce process is terminated. Either spouse can terminate the process at any time, although they usually wait until all other options have been exhausted before taking this step. This is considered the “last resort” for a number of reasons. First of all, both spouses have probably invested a lot of time and money into this process, and seeing it fail is obviously not in anyone’s best interests. Secondly, a failed collaborative divorce leads to everyone “starting from scratch” once again.

For most spouses, the only real option after a failed collaborative divorce is to file a petition for divorce and go through the traditional divorce process. This involves going to trial and allowing a judge to resolve the issues for you. Because neither spouse can come to an agreement on these key issues, the decision-making power is placed entirely in the hands of the judge. Neither spouse will know for sure what the outcome will be, as it depends on how the judge views the disagreements. This degree of uncertainty is what many spouses attempt to avoid when they choose collaborative divorce.

You Will Need to Hire a New Lawyer

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of a failed collaborative divorce is the fact that you will need to hire a new attorney when you move on to a litigated divorce. The rules surrounding collaborative divorce are strict, and both spouses must find new counsel after the breakdown of negotiations. This is usually included in the initial agreement you will sign before the collaborative process begins.

This can be very frustrating for a number of reasons. First of all, all of the money spent on a collaborative attorney is wasted. Secondly, your new attorney will have to learn about the details of your divorce from scratch. This means collecting and analyzing the same documents you have already gone over during your collaborative divorce. In addition, you might have built up a rapport with your former attorney. Trust is important when choosing an attorney, and losing that working relationship can be disheartening.

Why is it necessary to hire a new lawyer? Before your collaborative divorce begins, you sign a formal agreement and pledge to avoid litigation. Since that contract has been broken, your lawyer must withdraw as they have promised to avoid trial. In addition, they may have been exposed to information that is confidential or privileged, and that cannot take these potential advantages into a litigated divorce

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the Charlotte, Mooresville or Monroe area for a qualified attorney who has experience with collaborative divorce, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. If you truly want to avoid negotiations falling apart, it is always the best option to work with a legal professional. We can help you and your spouse overcome even the most complex disputes. With the right negotiation strategy, almost any issue can be resolved. While collaborative divorce can certainly come with its fair share of challenges, we can help you approach these hurdles. Book your consultation today at 704-370-2828.