Still, the collaborative process can help most people. However, it only works when both sides commit to the entire process. And understanding that there are disadvantages can help you avoid potential pitfalls.
You Need Trust
Many marriages fail in part due to trust and communication issues.
Collaborative divorce demands you have trust in each other. If your marriage failed because of a lack of trust, the collaborative process might not work for you if you can’t overcome this obstacle.
Collaborative divorce disadvantages come when you keep fighting or fail to trust each other.
But if you can trust each other and work together, you can save a great deal of stress and money along the way. Learning to listen and understand may be hard, but respecting your former spouse and yourself can help you reach a good place before you part.
You Might Get Less
In a traditional divorce, you work against your spouse. Your attorney works strictly for you and fights for as much of what you want as possible. He or she represents you without any other responsibility.
A collaborative divorce works differently.
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse have different attorneys, but they are working to help you reach an agreement, not to win.
Since an attorney isn’t fighting to get you more, you may compromise more than in a traditional divorce. The fact that you may be splitting assets more evenly, and could get less than if you were fighting over them, is one of the potential disadvantages of collaborative divorce.
Still, the collaborative concept is not about winning. If you want to reach a fair settlement and work together to get it, this process helps you do that.
Since working together is a requirement for collaborative divorce, there is typically less fighting. Less fighting means less legal fees, which translates to more available to split between you and your ex.
It Can Be Expensive
In a collaborative divorce, you hire lawyers, but you also engage experts: financial, coaches, and any others you need to get a valuation and agreement in place for the settlement. You divide the costs evenly in most cases, and those costs can climb quickly. For less wealthy couples, that can create hardships.
Still, a contested divorce will cost a great deal too. The lawyers fighting each other may take longer and bill more. You may still need competing experts, and this could drive up costs. And you don’t always end up in a good emotional place if there are significant fights along the way.
You Might Have to Start Over
Perhaps the toughest collaborative divorce disadvantages come with the risk you may have to start over.
If you cannot make the process work, you have to hire different lawyers and start over. You can’t use any of the plans you make or the details you hammer out.
No one likes to waste time. But this risk also means that everyone involved commits to making the process work. The lawyers work hard to help you reach a deal, and you and your spouse also have a significant investment in making it work.
Collaborative divorce is not easy. It requires time, effort, and sacrifice from all involved. You need to work to communicate in ways you may never have managed while married. It takes faith, effort, and cooperation.
Even so, the collaborative divorce disadvantages do more to give you a reason to make it work. When you want to be fair and to end your marriage with respect, this provides perhaps the best way to do so. A collaborative divorce can help you move forward on a good note and work out your differences together. Even though the marriage did not work, you don’t have to fight at the end.
Best Legal Choices
At BestLegalChoices.com we’ve put together a great team of legal, financial, and communication professionals to help you navigate this difficult time in your life. Working together up front to be prepared for the tough road ahead is how you and your spouse can mitigate the collaborative divorce disadvantages.
If you have questions about collaborative divorce, contact one of our professionals today.
Michelle was born and raised in Indiana, where she developed a strong will and a deep love of learning. When tragedy struck close to her through the suicide of a close friend who felt powerless, Michelle was moved by a desire for justice and fairness for people who are powerless.