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What a collaborative divorce looks like in California

Conflict resolution is never as important as it is during a divorce. With emotions running at their highest level, the chances of getting into arguments over every little issue are pretty good.

Going through the divorce process in court is not your only choice in California. Collaborative divorce allows parties to settle their differences with assistance and stay out of the courtroom. Deciding to go this route may mean the emotional focus shifts from combative to compromising.

Collaborative divorce defined

If you have never heard of a collaborative divorce, it is a relatively new concept formally taking shape throughout the legal system. In this type of proceeding, a couple agrees to keep their divorce out of court. The parties execute a legally binding contract expressing a desire to divorce via collaborative law at the onset of the process.

How the process works

When spouses agree to go through collaborative law, each is responsible for hiring an attorney for representation. These attorneys have received special training in how to take the parties through the process and negotiate all the issues required of the divorce. If for some reason you cannot resolve everything in this manner, your attorney cannot continue representing you. You must find a new one, and you must start the process of divorce all over.

Benefits of collaborative divorce

Going through court may result in both parties losing. A judge does not know your circumstances other than what he or she reads. Therefore, without a personal touch, the court process can seem cold and uncompromising. The collaborative process, however, allows you and your ex to have input on how you want things to look post-divorce instead of a judge telling you. This gives you more freedom with issues like:

  • Property division
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Retirement plan division
  • Business liquidation or retention

If you believe there is a chance you and your ex can compromise with the help of trained professionals, a collaborative divorce may benefit you in the short and long run.

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