Why Does Collaborative Divorce Not Work?

Although collaborative divorce offers many important benefits, this legal process is not for everyone. Many spouses in North Carolina have discovered that collaborative divorce does not work, and this failure may occur for a number of reasons. If you are considering pursuing a collaborative divorce, you should be aware of these potential pitfalls. Understanding the weak points of this process allows you to proceed with greater confidence, and it helps you avoid making the same mistakes.

It also makes sense to speak with a collaborative divorce attorney as soon as possible to understand the various pros and cons of this strategy. The truth is that the success of this process depends on the unique circumstances of your divorce. During a consultation, we can discuss your situation and determine whether or not collaborative divorce is truly the best option. Internet research is a solid first step, but it only gets you so far. Book a consultation with an attorney to learn more about the benefits and disadvantages of collaborative divorce.

When Spouses Are Not Willing to Negotiate

The success of your collaborative divorce depends on your willingness to negotiate. Stubbornness is the downfall of this process, and both spouses must be open to compromises and cooperation. Your attorney can help facilitate this process, but they can only get you so far. If neither spouse is willing to back down, negotiations quickly fall apart.

If this happens, then both spouses must fire their current attorneys, hire new attorneys, and pursue a traditional, trial-based divorce instead. This can be incredibly expensive, and it wastes time. Because of this, it is best to avoid collaborative divorce entirely if you think that negotiating with your spouse is impossible.

When Spouses Cannot Be in the Same Room

If both spouses simply cannot stand to be in the same room together, collaborative divorce probably is not going to work. This process depends on open discussions. Although your attorneys can speak for you in some situations, you will need to communicate with your spouse to some degree. One of the key benefits of collaborative divorce is that it is relatively civilized and non-combative. These benefits cannot be realized if both spouses cannot stand the sight of each other.

When One Spouse Wants to Publicly Shame the Other

Some spouses might be intent on dragging the divorce through the trial process just to publicly shame their ex. A litigated divorce goes on public record, which means that anyone can access the records and see the details of the divorce. This can be problematic and embarrassing if one spouse has been accused of adultery or some other type of misconduct. Some spouses might intentionally pursue a trial so that these acts are exposed to the public. If one spouse really wants this, there is nothing the other spouse can do. Both spouses must agree to the collaborative divorce process.

When Spouses Refuse to Be Honest

Collaborative divorces may also fail due to lack of honesty. In a normal, trial-based divorce, the discovery phase requires both spouses to share all important documents that may affect the legal proceedings. This might include financial documents, mortgage statements, and various other pieces of evidence. A collaborative divorce also involves a discovery phase, but it is considered “informal” in nature. This means that spouses will face no consequences for failing to provide certain evidence.

In other words, you are basically operating on the honor system when it comes to sharing information. Both spouses must be honest about key factors, such as their income, their net worths, and any concealed assets they might have (like cryptocurrency). If one spouse is dishonest about their income or assets, negotiations can quickly deteriorate. This can cause spouses to walk away from the negotiation table, and a litigated divorce will soon follow. It is best to share as much information as possible, allowing spouses to make informed decisions and approach the negotiation process in a confident manner.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified, experienced collaborative divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. During your first consultation, we can discuss the details of your divorce and determine whether or not collaborative law makes sense. Depending on your situation, we can then explore your next moves in a confident, efficient manner. For many spouses, collaborative divorce can actually be extremely beneficial, so do not count this process out entirely. Many of the common mistakes discussed in this article can be avoided with the right approach. Book your consultation today to learn more.