In a litigated divorce, you hand over all of the authority to the judge. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement, you will have almost no control over the outcome. The judge looks at your marital circumstances and property to decide who should get what, and you and your spouse have to abide by the terms set in the divorce decree.
That is not true in a collaborative divorce. If you choose to work together with your spouse, the two of you can set your own terms for property division and file an uncontested divorce. What would that process involve?
Collaborative divorce often starts with negotiations
Collaborative divorce involves working together with instead of fighting. You agree to cooperate to set your own terms, maintain control over the outcome and keep costs lower.
If you and your spouse can effectively communicate with one another, you might be able to reach an agreement about your property settlement without involving anyone else. This direct approach only works for a small number of cases. Many collaborative divorces rely instead on negotiations between the attorneys representing the former spouses.
Your lawyer can talk with your spouse’s lawyer and set terms for property division that work well for both of you. If you can agree on the terms, you will sign an agreement that will then guide your uncontested divorce filing. If you still can’t find a solution, mediation and arbitration could also help you maintain control over the terms that in your divorce.
Exploring all of your options, like a collaborative divorce, before going to court can help you keep control over the property division process.