What Might Happen in a Collaborative Divorce Hearing?

You may have heard that spouses who choose collaborative divorce spend as little time in the courtroom as possible. While that is true, it is important to remember that you cannot escape the courts entirely. After drafting your separation agreement, a judge will need to review this document and approve it during a hearing. While this process is much quicker and easier than a full-blown divorce trial, it is still an essential part of collaborative law. So, what actually happens during this hearing? Do you even need to attend? How do you make sure your hearing goes as smoothly as possible? What can go wrong?

These are all important questions, and they are best left answered by a legal professional. If you would like to learn more about this hearing, consult with a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina. We have plenty of experience with collaborative law, and we will be able to give you the most accurate information and advice. With our help, you can not only make sure that your hearing is handled correctly, but you can also approach virtually every other aspect of your divorce with confidence.

What is a Divorce Hearing?

For couples that choose litigated divorces, divorce trials are long and complicated. During this process, judges make final decisions on how the divorce should be handled, tackling areas such as child support, child custody, property division, and alimony. Both spouses may make their own arguments and present evidence in an effort to get a better deal, but in the end, it is the judge who makes the final decision.

Things are quite different when you choose a collaborative divorce. In this situation, spouses retain considerable control over the final outcome. They do this by drafting a separation agreement that covers virtually every aspect of their divorce. Because these decisions have already been made, the judge’s role is to merely review the document during the hearing and make sure everything is in order. While the judge still has the power to invalidate the separation agreement, this should not happen if you have drafted the document correctly.

What Happens During a Collaborative Divorce Hearing?

For the most part, a collaborative divorce hearing involves the judge reviewing the separation agreement – and not much else. Their main goal is to make sure that the agreement is not invalid in any way. There are several reasons that a separation agreement might be invalid, including:

  • A spouse was coerced into signing the agreement
  • A spouse did not fully understand the agreement before signing
  • The agreement includes provisions that are illegal
  • The agreement attempts to force third parties to act in certain ways
  • The agreement includes provisions that are not in the child’s best interests

If you work with a qualified attorney, these issues should be resolved. Your attorney should know exactly how and when your agreement might be invalidated, and they can spot mistakes and issues before they are included in the document.

One of the most common reasons for the invalidation of separation agreements involves children. Technically speaking, all of the provisions you include that relate to children can be overruled by the judge, so keep that in mind and try to act in the child’s best interests as you draft your separation agreement. With that said, you can include certain provisions in a separation agreement that are not usually permitted, such as the continuation of child support beyond high school for college tuition or trade school.

Do I Actually Have to Attend the Hearing? In some cases, you will not have to attend the hearing for your collaborative divorce. This is a quick and easy process, and your attorney can attend the hearing alone to make sure everything goes to plan. Your spouse’s attorney will also be present. That being said, you can certainly attend the hearing if you like.  Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified divorce attorney who has experience with collaborative law, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses separate and move on with their lives. A collaborative divorce may be the best option if you value speed, affordability, and convenience. However, this process still takes a considerable amount of work if you want to resolve your divorce correctly, and that is why it is important to work with experienced professionals. Book your consultation today and strive for the best possible outcome with our help.