What Kind of Paperwork Do I Need for a Collaborative Divorce

Although a collaborative divorce is generally viewed as a simpler, more straightforward alternative to a trial-based divorce, you still need to fill out various forms, gather documents, and handle other types of paperwork. If you are approaching a collaborative divorce in North Carolina, it is important to go over this checklist before you move forward. This way, you will have a good idea of what to expect as you move through this process and end your marriage in the most efficient, stress-free manner possible.

If you are not sure about what kind of documents and paperwork you need before beginning the collaborative divorce process, consult with a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina. Our legal professionals are well aware of the various things you will need to sign as you go through this process, and we can make sure you are not missing anything vital. Not only that, but our attorney can also guide you through the collaborative divorce process and help you draft many of these documents.

If you have decided that collaborative divorce is the best option for you, it makes sense to work with an attorney who has considerable experience in this area. Collaborative divorce features a number of notable differences compared to a traditional, trial-based divorce. It is important that your attorney understands these differences. When you choose an experienced collaborative divorce lawyer, you can make this process quick and easy.

The Divorce Petition

Whether you have chosen a collaborative divorce or a normal divorce, at some point you will need to file a divorce petition. One spouse will need to do this, and it does not really matter which of you files the petition. Essentially, this document informs the courts in North Carolina that you want to get a divorce. You will most likely be filing for an uncontested divorce, which means that the grounds for your separation will be “irrevocable differences.” There is no fault involved here. The petitioner will need to serve this document to their spouse, who will then have about 30 days to respond. Once they have responded and the court has approved the petition, you can move forward with the rest of your divorce.

The Participation Agreement

Your collaborative divorce will begin with a participation agreement. Before any negotiations take place, both spouses will need to sign this document. You and your spouse can also have a say in how this contract is drafted. For example, you may have specific concerns about the details of the subsequent negotiations being revealed to the public. If this is the case, your participation agreement may also involve a non-disclosure agreement.

Most participation agreements require spouses to commit to the collaborative divorce process. Spouses agree not to go to court, and to do their best to communicate and work together to the best of their abilities. In addition, the participation agreement has a clause that goes into effect if the collaborative divorce process fails. If this happens, both spouses will need to hire new lawyers and “start from scratch,” so to speak.

Financial Documents

You will also need to collect a range of financial documents in preparation for an informal discovery process. While neither spouse is legally required to exchange documents, it is crucial for successful negotiations and well-informed decisions. Examples of these financial documents include bank statements, records of income, records of assets, and records of certain debts.

The Separation Agreement

Your separation agreement is probably the most important document that the collaborative divorce process will produce. This is drafted and finalized by your attorneys at the end of the negotiations, when both spouses have agreed upon virtually every aspect of your separation. Your separation agreement will include decisions that affect property division, spousal support, child support, and so on.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the Charlotte, Mooresville or Monroe area for a family law attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We can help navigate the collaborative divorce process. Although there are a few important documents and contracts you will need to sign if you choose collaborative divorce, you will most likely find that this option is decidedly more convenient and less stressful when compared to going to trial.

When you rely on legal professionals to help you handle things like the separation agreement and the participation agreement, collaborative divorces can be easier to wrap up. Book your consultation today at 704.370.2828, and we can get started together.