What Is Meant by Collaborative Law?

If you are planning on getting divorced in North Carolina, you may have heard the term “collaborative law.” What exactly does this term mean, and how might it affect your separation? These are questions you should definitely be asking yourself, as collaborative law can be highly advantageous for divorcing spouses. This legal process is different compared to a traditional, litigated divorce in a number of ways, and it is proving to be a very popular choice for couples of all walks of life. Both high-net worth spouses and those with relatively few assets can pursue positive results with a collaborative divorce. This method is also beneficial for both amicable divorces and those with major disputes. But how exactly does a collaborative divorce work, and why should you consider this option?

This question is perhaps best left answered by a divorce attorney in North Carolina. During an initial consultation with one of our legal professionals, you can ask questions and explore this topic in greater depth. Not only can our divorce attorneys answer these questions, but we can also guide you forward once you are ready to proceed with a collaborative divorce. In doing so, we can make sure that your separation proceeds in a way that serves your best interests. It is best to get in touch with a qualified divorce attorney as soon as possible if you are considering a collaborative divorce in North Carolina.

A Brief History of Collaborative Law

Before collaborative law came into being, there was only one way to get divorced. Spouses were forced to go through long, arduous, and expensive divorce trials – even if they agreed on virtually every aspect of their divorce. A Minneapolis-based family lawyer named Stuart Webb realized that there was a better way, and he laid the groundwork for a new process called collaborative law. Although Webb was close to retiring when he made this contribution to the legal world, it was probably the most defining moment of his entire career.

He was also dealing with his own marital issues at the time and experienced firsthand the shortcomings of the litigated divorce system. After 26 years of trying to help his clients navigate this system, he decided to create a new approach that bypassed the courtrooms altogether. His idea was relatively simple: allow spouses to work out their own differences behind closed doors, create a legal agreement based on the outcome of these negotiations, and simply have a family court judge sign the document during a hearing.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

Collaborative divorce starts when both spouses get together and discuss how they would like to handle the separation. If both spouses agree to try the collaborative process, they hire their own attorneys and start negotiating. Both spouses must agree to this process for it to proceed. If one spouse does not agree, then a litigated divorce is the only option. Before moving forward, both spouses and both attorneys agree to commit to the collaborative process wholeheartedly. The attorneys also promise to walk away if the negotiations fail. During the negotiations, both spouses attempt to work out their differences in a civilized, considerate manner. Their attorneys also aid in the negotiation process and are specially trained to facilitate compromises and collaboration.

The goal is to create agreements on virtually every aspect of the divorce, including child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. Once all aspects of the divorce are agreed upon, the attorneys formalize these agreements by drafting a separation agreement. The separation agreement is then brought before a judge during a hearing, who reviews the document and makes sure that it is valid. If there are no issues, the judge signs the document and its contents become legally binding. In this manner, the time-consuming, expensive, and stressful nature of a litigated divorce can be avoided.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced collaborative law attorney in North Carolina, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous spouses who wish to make the most of the collaborative divorce process. As you have seen, this process can be highly advantageous in a number of important ways. Book your consultation today, and we can start discussing your unique situation. All divorces are different, and the collaborative process can be tailored to fit your specific needs. Get started now, and you can resolve your divorce in a quick, affordable manner.