Article On Collaborative Divorce Published In "Inside Jersey" Magazine

In a recent article published in Inside Jersey magazine, collaborative divorce is described as “the newest method of alternative dispute resolution.” The author explained the collaborative divorce process as follows:

Rather than two sides preparing for a knockdown, drag-out fight [in court], the  collaborative process is designed to allow spouses to negotiate with each other’s best interests at heart. . .  To start the process, both spouses retain an attorney, each of whom is part of a collaborative law group that offers financial advisors, mortgage advisors and accountants, as needed. All parties [and their attorneys] sign a participation agreement promising to try to settle differences in a non-adversarial manner [through negotiation rather than litigation.] . . . The spouses and their attorneys then start a series of four party meetings to hash out the details, from property and assets to custody and child visitation. Unlike the traditional divorce process where attorneys speak on behalf of the spouses, everyone in the meetings participates equally. . . As an added incentive to resolve the divorce, if a settlement is not reached, both attorneys . . . withdraw from the process, so spouses would have to find new lawyers and start fresh before pursuing litigation.

The article identifies two major benefits of collaborative divorce. First, a collaborative divorce is substantially less expensive than a litigated divorce. The attorneys fees and costs for a litigated divorce can top $100,000, while a collaborative divorce can be negotiated for about $15,000 for both spouses. Second, the collaborative process makes the emotional health of the entire family a priority, which makes for a better post-divorce relationship between spouses who often must continue to co-operate because they have children.

The article on collaborative divorce can be found in PDF format here – Inside Jersey-Collaborative Divorce