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A Collaborative Approach To Resolve Divorce Disputes

The divorce process is emotionally and financially difficult. When many people think about the divorce process, they might assume that a contentious and long court battle will take place. While contentious divorces do happen, they are not necessary when a divorcing couple agrees to a collaborative divorce in New Jersey.

The goal of collaborative divorce law is to minimize the trauma and conflict that are so often a part of the New Jersey divorce process. Instead of competing against each other, lawyers attempt to work together for a favorable outcome on both sides.

The first part of starting a collaborative divorce is to find a skilled New Jersey divorce lawyer. Giro & Associates LLC has a long history of providing experienced divorce representation. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience helping clients settle both collaborative and contentious divorce cases. We offer fair rates and, in some cases, a flat fee when the client does not wish to be billed on an hourly basis.

What Is A Collaborative Divorce?

A collaborative divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that requires professionals to place a heavy emphasis on working together. The lawyers, financial advisers and mental health professionals involved in collaborative divorce focus on addressing the emotional needs of those involved.

The goal of this type of ADR is to make sure that a divorce takes place outside of the courtroom. One of the benefits of a collaborative divorce is that the divorcing spouses do not have to deal with the uncertainties and pressure that accompany divorce litigation in a courtroom. In a collaborative divorce, the divorcing parties have control over the outcome of their case.

How Much Does A Collaborative Divorce Cost?

As with any legal process, the cost of a collaborative divorce in New Jersey depends on several factors. When the parties own significant and complex assets, the collaborative divorce process might take longer. You will need to find a skilled collaborative divorce lawyer who can represent your best interests. Or, when the divorcing spouses have significant issues of disagreement, they may need to schedule more negotiation sessions to work out their differences. The complexity of the case, the need for outside experts, and the cooperation level of the divorcing spouses are all factors that go into determining the cost of the process.

A very simple collaborative divorce in New Jersey could cost $15,000 while complicated collaborative divorces could result in fees of $50,000 or more. When considering the cost of a collaborative divorce, it is essential to think about how much typical divorce litigation could cost. Many divorce litigators require a down payment or retainer of at least $30,000. When divorces go to trial, the cost can easily range from $80,000 to over $200,000 in extreme cases. When both parties are willing to work together, the collaborative process can go much faster than a typical divorce process, saving individuals money in the long term.

Starting The Process

The most important aspect of beginning a collaborative divorce is to determine whether or not collaborative divorce is the right option for you. Both spouses must agree to the process. Both parties must be willing to negotiate and work together toward a common good. If you and your ex-spouse have are not on speaking terms, are hostile to each other, or have a history of violence, the collaborative divorce process may not be the best option. In order to begin the collaborative divorce process, you need to be in agreement with your ex-spouse that you will enter into negotiations and attempt to keep the divorce process out of court.

The Benefits Of This Approach

Collaborative divorce means that the divorcing ex-spouses do not need to go through a contentious divorce litigation process. At the end of a successful collaborative divorce in New Jersey, the divorcing couple will walk away from the process with a divorce agreement.

The benefits of a collaborative divorce are significant, and include the following:

  • Keeps the personal problems and assets of the spouses private
  • Gives children a significant voice in the process, focusing on their mental health
  • Each party selects its own attorney to walk them through the collaborative divorce
  • Alleviates the possibility of trauma caused by the divorce process
  • The divorcing spouses have control of the collaborative divorce process

How Long Does The Process Take?

The length of time for a collaborative divorce depends on several factors, including the willingness of the couple to work together. Many collaborative divorces take between eight and 14 months to complete. The more assets the couple owns and the more complicated the separation, the longer the process can take.

In many cases, the couple can resolve difficult issues within four to six group negotiation sessions. In some cases, it can be challenging to schedule group sessions, especially when several relevant experts are necessary at each session.

What Happens When This Approach Fails?

Collaborative divorces are an excellent choice when the parties are willing to work together. However, sometimes the process breaks down and the parties are no longer willing to work through the collaborative process. This aspect of the collaborative divorce process is often challenging.

When the couple cannot reach an agreement on relevant issues, the divorcing spouses will need to start over again in a traditional divorce process. The next step is usually to file a divorce petition with a New Jersey court. The collaborative divorce attorney will usually need to resign, and each spouse will need to find a new lawyer.

Helping Clients Retain Control

One of the best parts of the collaborative divorce process is that the divorcing couple, not the court system, controls the process. The divorcing spouses have control over where, when, and how often they need to meet for each negotiation session. The goal of each negotiation session is to make progress on coming to an agreement about the divorce settlement. The first step in the collaborative divorce process is to create a way for both spouses to communicate effectively. It is essential that both divorcing spouses trust the collaborative divorce process. The negotiations should be fair to both divorcing spouses and should not favor one spouse over another spouse.

After the negotiation sessions have been scheduled, collaborative divorce attorneys help assemble a team of experts to help with special concerns. For example, when children are involved, the team might include child trauma specialists. The team could also include certified financial planners, divorce coaches, certified public accountants, child specialists, and mental health professionals. A failure of the collaborative process can be a difficult reality for both spouses. When the collaborative divorce process fails, it is essential that you find another skilled lawyer who is able to fight for your rights. You cannot retain the same collaborative divorce lawyer.

Learn If This Approach Is Right For You

At Giro & Associates LLC, our lawyers have the skill and knowledge needed to effectively represent clients as they go through the divorce process. We have over 50 years of combined experience fighting for the legal rights of our clients.

We understand how difficult it is to go through the divorce process and you do not have to go through it alone. Contact us through our online form or by calling 201-771-9436 to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you throughout divorce process.