Lincoln Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is never an easy decision. However, there are ways to make the process less adversarial and more focused on both parties’ well-being. Collaborative divorce is an alternative approach to traditional litigation emphasizing cooperation, communication, and problem-solving. Understanding what collaborative divorce is, the advantages and disadvantages of this process, and how to find a qualified divorce attorney are all key considerations when seeking a dissolution of marriage.
What Is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a method of resolving family law disputes, such as divorce and child custody, without resorting to the adversarial approach of a court battle. In a collaborative divorce, both spouses and their respective collaborative divorce attorneys work cooperatively and respectfully. This allows them to amicably reach an agreement on the terms of the dissolution.
The collaborative divorce process involves a series of face-to-face meetings between the spouses, their attorneys, and any other necessary professionals, such as financial advisors or therapists. These meetings are designed to foster open communication, allowing both parties to express their needs and concerns. That way, they can work towards a mutually beneficial resolution.
The Role of a Lincoln Collaborative Divorce Attorney
A Lincoln collaborative divorce attorney is crucial to the collaborative divorce process. Unlike a traditional divorce attorney, who might focus on “winning” the case for their client, a collaborative divorce attorney is committed to helping both parties reach a fair and equitable agreement for everyone involved. This means that the attorney’s role is not to fight for their client’s interests at the expense of the other spouse. Rather, they work collaboratively with the other party and their attorney to find solutions that benefit everyone.
In addition to providing legal advice and representation, a Lincoln lawyer can also:
- Help facilitate communication between the spouses.
- Guide the collaborative process.
- Identify any potential issues that may arise during the negotiations.
This sometimes occurs in an official mediation setting if the parting couples opt in for that solution.
The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
There are several advantages to choosing a collaborative divorce over traditional litigation in a divorce case:
- Reduced Conflict: Collaborative divorce encourages open communication and problem-solving rather than pitting spouses against each other in an adversarial courtroom setting. This can minimize conflict and promote a more amicable resolution.
- Privacy: Collaborative divorce proceedings are typically conducted in private meetings rather than in a public courtroom. This can help protect the privacy and confidentiality of both parties and their families.
- Control: In a collaborative divorce, the spouses maintain control over the outcome of their case. They can work together to create a settlement that meets their needs, rather than leaving the decision to a judge.
- Cost-Effective: The cost of a collaborative divorce can be affected by the professionals involved and the complexity of the case. Nevertheless, it is generally considered a more cost-effective option than traditional litigation. The process is typically faster and more streamlined.
- Improved Relationships: The collaborative divorce process often leads to better long-term relationships between the former spouses, mainly when children are involved. By working together to resolve their issues, the spouses can establish a foundation for effective co-parenting and communication after the divorce.
The Collaborative Divorce Process in Lincoln
The collaborative divorce process in Lincoln generally follows these steps:
- Retain a Collaborative Divorce Attorney: Both spouses must hire their own Lincoln collaborative divorce attorney trained in the collaborative process.
- Sign a Participation Agreement: Both spouses and their attorneys sign a participation agreement. This outlines their commitment to the collaborative process. It also declares their intention to resolve the divorce case without going to court.
- Engage Professionals: Depending on the needs of the case, additional professionals such as financial advisors, mental health professionals, or child therapists may be contacted. These individuals can provide guidance and support during the collaborative divorce process.
- Information Gathering: Spouses and their collaborative divorce attorneys gather relevant information. These include financial records, property valuations, and details about the children’s needs. This information is shared openly and honestly between both parties.
- Joint Meetings: The spouses and their attorneys, along with any additional professionals, attend a series of joint meetings. There, they will discuss and negotiate the terms of the divorce. These meetings may cover property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support.
- Problem Solving: Throughout the joint meetings, the spouses and their collaborative team work together to identify and address any potential issues that may arise during the negotiations. They brainstorm solutions and compromises that are fair and beneficial to both parties.
- Drafting the Agreement: Once the spouses have reached an agreement on all the divorce terms, their Lincoln collaborative divorce attorneys can draft a formal settlement agreement. This document outlines the terms of the divorce. It is also legally binding once both spouses have signed it.
- Filing for Dissolution: After the settlement agreement has been signed, the Lincoln collaborative divorce attorney or dissolution lawyer can file the necessary paperwork with the court to finalize the divorce. Usually, the spouses will not need to appear in court. The judge will review and approve the settlement agreement without a formal hearing.
- Post-Divorce Support: If needed, the collaborative divorce team may continue to provide support and guidance after the divorce has been finalized. This could include assistance with co-parenting, financial planning, or adjusting to life after the divorce.
What Type of People Would Benefit From Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is not suitable for every couple. However, it can benefit those who meet specific criteria and are willing to engage in open communication and cooperation. Some types of people who may benefit from collaborative divorce include:
- Couples Who Prioritize Cooperation and Communication: Collaborative divorce is ideal for couples who want to maintain a respectful and civil relationship throughout the divorce process. This approach emphasizes open communication and encourages parties to work together to find mutually beneficial solutions.
- Couples With Children: Collaborative divorce can be particularly beneficial for couples with children, as it often leads to better long-term relationships between co-parents. The focus on cooperation and problem-solving can help create a more stable and supportive environment. This can help the children during and after the divorce.
- Couples Seeking Privacy: The collaborative divorce process typically takes place in private meetings rather than a public courtroom. This allows couples to maintain their privacy and confidentiality throughout the proceedings.
- Couples Willing to Compromise: Collaborative divorce is most successful when both parties are ready to make compromises. This allows them to work together to find solutions that meet their individual needs and goals. Couples who are open to negotiation and willing to prioritize the well-being of both parties will be better suited for this approach.
- Couples Seeking Cost-Effective Solutions: Collaborative divorce can often be more cost-effective than traditional litigation, as the process is typically faster and more streamlined. Couples concerned about the financial impact of a drawn-out court battle may prefer the collaborative approach.
- Couples Who Want Control Over the Outcome: In a collaborative divorce, the spouses maintain control over the decision-making process and the final agreement. Couples who prefer to have a say regarding their divorce may find the collaborative process appealing. That way, their futures will not be left to a judge’s discretion.
Do Any Conflicts Arise in Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is designed to minimize conflict and foster cooperation. However, it is not entirely conflict-free. Divorce, by its nature, involves the negotiation of sensitive issues, and disagreements can arise even in a collaborative setting. Some common conflicts that may occur during the collaborative divorce process include:
- Disagreements Over Property Division: Couples may have differing opinions on dividing assets and debts. This can lead to disputes over the valuation of assets, such as real estate, investments, or business interests.
- Disputes Over Child Custody and Parenting Plans: Determining child custody arrangements and parenting schedules can be a contentious issue. Parents may have different views on what is acceptable for their children. Negotiations can become heated as they attempt to reach a consensus.
- Disagreements Over Spousal and Child Support: Financial support for a spouse or children can be contentious. Both parties may have different ideas about what is fair and reasonable. Discussions about the amount and duration of support payments can lead to disagreements and conflict.
- Emotional Issues: Divorce can be an emotionally charged experience. Unresolved feelings of hurt, anger, or resentment can sometimes surface during the collaborative process. These emotions can create tensions and conflicts that may be difficult to navigate.
- Trust Issues: Collaborative divorce relies on open communication and full disclosure of information. If one spouse is not forthcoming with information, or is suspected of hiding assets, trust issues may arise and create conflict.
Despite these potential conflicts, the collaborative divorce process is designed to address and manage disagreements constructively and respectfully. Collaborative divorce attorneys and other professionals are trained to help the parties:
- Communicate effectively.
- Remain focused on their goals.
- Work through conflicts to find mutually agreeable solutions.
If conflicts become too contentious, and cannot be resolved through the collaborative process, the parties may need to terminate the arrangement and proceed with traditional litigation. However, this is generally considered a last resort and is relatively rare in collaborative divorce cases.
Contact Stange Law Firm Today
If you are considering filing for divorce, and want to learn more about the collaborative process, contact Stange Law Firm to speak with an experienced attorney. Our collaborative divorce attorneys can help you understand your options and decide if collaborative divorce suits you. It could be what you need to end your marriage amicably and efficiently. Reach out to our firm today for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.
Lancaster County (Lincoln), Nebraska Office (402-204-5002) | 233 S. 13th St., Suite 1109, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508