. The dissolution of a marriage, when it becomes necessary, can be one of life’s most difficult events. It involves issues that have deep emotional components beyond the relationship between two people involving money, property, and family. It is also a legal issue that requires the filing of paperwork to be approved by the state or the court, should it be legally challenged. Many couples today are seeking to limit many of the costs, both financial and personal, by opting for a cooperative, or collaborative, divorce as an alternative.
A cooperative divorce is considerably less expensive than one that is litigated in court. Legal fees for cases that go to court can be exorbitantly high, costing thousands of dollars. In a cooperative divorce, court litigation is avoided when both parties agree to on all issues, such as property division and child custody, which are part of the process. From the outset, both parties and their lawyers agree to not file a lawsuit, agreeing to full disclosure and cooperation during the process, thus avoiding the involvement of the court.
A cooperative divorce typically allows for greater control and reduced stress. With both parties committed to coming to satisfactory agreements, the focus remains on the task, which is to reach a settlement that serves both parties as quickly as possible. There is, therefore, significantly less contentious with less emphasis on “winning” as defined by a court battle with an unsure outcome. There is typically much less bitterness on both sides at the conclusion, with both parties having a voice and control over the matter, unlike court decided cases where often both parties feel wronged.
A cooperative divorce is usually concluded quickly, unlike court cases that can drag on for years, creating significant stress for the family as well as significant expense financially. When both parties are prepared with the assistance of their lawyers, it can be settled amicably within a period of a couple of months at minimal cost.
Though couples can successfully complete a do-it-yourself divorce without the assistance of lawyers, it may not be the wisest course of action. Emotions can turn small disagreements into major battles if focus is lost. Advocacy and mediation by the attorneys can prevent this from happening so that a cooperative divorce can be successfully settled, often at about the same cost as a do-it-yourself kit. When a marriage must be dissolved, a cooperative divorce with the assistance of an experienced attorney is by far the best way to go.