A divorce can be overwhelming and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. Recently, collaborative divorce has become a more popular option for couples in Arizona. This process involves you and your spouse, along with a team of trained collaborative divorce professionals, working together out of court to settle your divorce. It can save you time and money and reduce the uncertainty and unpredictability of court proceedings. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of collaborative divorce, here’s what you need to know about using this method for your Arizona divorce:
Who Can Use the Collaborative Divorce Method?
Any couple can use the collaborative process for an Arizona divorce, though some are better suited for this option than others. If you and your spouse are still on decent terms (or want to be) but no longer wish to remain married, this approach may be right for you.
The purpose of collaborative divorce is for you and your spouse to brainstorm solutions and come to mutually agreeable outcomes. To do this, you’ll need to work together to decide the terms of your Arizona divorce. A willingness to communicate effectively and compromise will help the process.
You probably didn’t decide to divorce because you and your spouse are getting along great. Often, couples have spent years fighting before they file for divorce. Even if you and your spouse are no longer on the best terms, you can still make use of the collaborative divorce process. You just need to be willing to work together and consider that there is more than one way to resolve any dispute you may face. Doing so allows you to make decisions in the best interests of everyone involved, including your children.
Benefits of a Collaborative Arizona Divorce
Collaborative divorce can have numerous benefits for your family, including:
- Avoiding court. A litigious Arizona divorce can be incredibly stressful on everyone. Nobody wants to spend their precious time battling over assets in a courtroom. Particularly contentious divorces can drag out for a year or more. A collaborative divorce, on the other hand, allows you to avoid the courtroom and all of the associated frustrations.
- Empowering decision making. Another benefit of opting out of a litigated divorce is that you and your spouse are the people responsible for dividing your assets and debts. In a traditional divorce, a judge will typically divide everything 50/50 without regard to sentimental value or informal agreements and understandings. In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse can consider whether a different outcome is more appropriate for your situation.
- Saving money on legal fees. Although you and your spouse must each retain your own attorney in the collaborative divorce process, you can often save money compared to a litigated divorce. Since you’ll be working together to come to solutions, you can save time by avoiding drawn-out battles, lengthy motions and unnecessary court appearances. In the legal world, time is money.
- Minimizing the length of divorce proceedings. Arguing over the details of your divorce in court can take up a lot of time, especially if children are involved. Avoiding the courtroom also means you don’t have to worry about a judge scheduling hearings based on their own availability. With collaborative divorce, you can avoid many of the delays associated with going to court, often enabling you to wrap up your divorce more quickly.
- Protecting your children from stress. Divorce can be hard on children if they’re watching their parents fight throughout the process. By avoiding court battles in a collaborative divorce, you can shield your children from much of that stress. You and your spouse will work together to develop a parenting plan and child support agreement. A clear, agreeable plan can leave children feeling secure about their future. By keeping these issues out of the judge’s hands, couples can save time, money and a future relationship with each other and their children.
Of course, these are just a few of the benefits often associated with collaborative divorce.
Learn More About Collaborative Arizona Divorce
If you’re interested in learning more about the collaborative divorce process, contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices today. We recognize how difficult this time can be for you, so we approach every case with compassion and understanding. We’ll take the time to answer all of your questions to make sure you fully understand how the process works and what you can expect.
Monica Donaldson Stewart is the managing attorney for the law firm of Donaldson Stewart PC, where she practices in all aspects of family law, including collaborative divorce and family law mediation.