The divorce process that many Massachusetts residents may be familiar with is the one that involves litigation in a family law courtroom. Like other forms of litigation, divorce litigation can become heated, acrimonious, and downright challenging. It places two people who have decided that they do not want to spend their lives legally connected to each other on opposite sides of a cause and forces them to work out and accept outcomes that may not fully address their wants.
Even when the parties to a litigated divorce are able to be cordial they are still subject to the rulings and orders of the court before which they appear. In some instances parties to litigated divorce may wish that they had more control over the actual decisions being made about their lives. This is where collaborative divorce fits into the world of family law – it allows parties to a divorce to talk out their negotiations and come to their own resolutions.
Generally each of the parties to a collaborative divorce will enter the process with a family law attorney who practices collaborative law. Collaborative divorces do not utilize the services of mediators or other alternative dispute practitioners as it is on the parties and their representatives to work out the terms that will bind them in their post-divorce lives. The parties can, however, choose to hire experts or other professionals who may help them value property or provide other insights as they work through their divorce negotiations.
Although not all divorcing couples will find success in the collaborative process, those who do sometimes experience benefits over those who choose litigated divorces. Lower stress, cost savings, and more control can often be counted as advantages for those who are able to complete their divorces through the collaborative process.