5 Ways A Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Time, Money & Sanity

Self, Heartbreak

Divorce doesn't have to end in court!

What exactly is a collaborative divorce, and how do you know that it's right for you and your situation?

According to Divorce Attorney Kevin Chroman in the video above, collaborative divorce is a process where you and your spouse — and your attorneys — all agree that you will not take the case to court, and there will be no litigation involved.

Instead, you gather together with several other professionals, sometimes life coaches, mental health professionals, financial professionals, or even mediators that will help guide you through the process and work together with your husband or wife to get the best outcome for everyone involved.

This is especially helpful when you have children together, since you will likely still be dealing with that person even after you're officially divorced

Despite the fact that a collaborative divorce is often ideal, not as many people utilize this as an option as they probably should. That's why it is helpful to understand your options before you enter into any divorce proceedings. 

RELATED: Should I Get A Divorce? There's Only ONE Way To Know...

It's a process that can be helpful for a lot of people for many reasons.

But if you're currently considering divorce or are in the process of seeking one out, here are five reasons you might want to consider a collaborative divorce instead of going the more traditional divorce court route.

1. Collaboration gives you complete and total control over your divorce.

The collaborative process gives you complete control.

You determine when meetings will take place, you decide what you want to agree to, and you also decide if you want to continue with the collaborative process rather than go to court. This helps make certain that you won’t be surprised in court, and you don’t have a judge handing out orders and edicts on what you need to be involved in or what you need to agree to.

2. You will never have to worry about appearing in court.

Again, says Chroman, this is an issue about your control. When someone says, “I’ll see you in court!”, what they really mean is that their attorney is going to file paperwork, your attorney is going to have to respond, and then you both are going to be at the whim of a judge to decide the outcome of the situation.

If you're not in a court, then everything depends on you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse's say-so — not a judge handing out orders.

3. The cost of collaborating tends to be cheaper than the cost of going to court.

It might seem like having several other professionals gathered in the room with you, your spouse, and the attorneys would be more expensive, but there’s actually a division of labor among the team that’s working together. This also means that instead of doubling fees, you’re actually going to be splitting them.

This, says Chroman, can actually help you reduce expenses. Going in front of a judge will require a ton of different fees, from filing costs to paying the actual attorneys, and can quickly — really quickly, actually! — move your costs into the thousands and tens of thousands.

4. You will be able to guarantee that your case is kept private.

When you go to court to file paperwork, your case and its details are forced onto records that will soon be shareable with anyone who’d like to look into it. However, with a collaborative divorce, the details of your divorce will never become public record. Only the court documents that you must file will be public record.

This can help both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to keep things just between the two of you—and this is great for when you might say something in your bad moments that you might regret someone seeing later.

5. This will help you maintain a better relationship with your ex-husband or wife.

You’re getting a divorce, so it’s no surprise that your relationship with one another might have some strains. And sometimes, litigation can make things worse because it will feel like a heated battle.

In a collaborative divorce, however, there is a large focus on communication and how to keep that communication lasting even after the divorce is finalized. This can be especially handy when you have young children together and are going to have to co-parent them for a long time together.

You aren’t going to be best friends with your ex-spouse, but being able to work out your issues together in a healthy, effective way and be respectful of each other is also something that your kids can learn from as well and will be better for them in the long-term.

RELATED: How To Know If Divorce Mediation Is Right For You (Or If You Need A Lawyer) 

Kevin J. Chroman, Esq, is a family law attorney who practices in the greater Los Angeles area. If you have any questions regarding this or other legal questions, contact him at his website.