Asheville Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is often a contentious issue, made even more contentious by a court process in which both parties are encouraged to dig up evidence on each other and present it before a judge in order for a “winner” and a “loser” to be determined. However, for many people, getting a divorce doesn’t need to be contentious and it doesn’t even need to involve a courtroom.

North Carolina’s laws provide the framework for collaborative divorces in Asheville by allowing married couples who are separating and planning to divorce to work together with their attorneys to resolve matters pertinent to their divorce on their own. In addition to avoiding the negativity of divorce court, the collaborative divorce process allows couples to keep the personal details of their assets out of the court’s public record, and the process generally allows the parties to finalize their divorce much more quickly than litigation.

What Is Collaborative Divorce in North Carolina?

Collaborative divorce is a process where the divorcing couple—each represented by their own experienced attorney—make a good faith attempt and use their best efforts to resolve matters pertaining to their divorce and create an agreement reflecting these resolutions. The type of divorce matters commonly involved in collaborative divorce discussions include:

  •  The division of marital assets, including the family home
  • Custody of the couple’s minor children
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • The division of marital debts

The collaborative divorce process typically begins when the parties agree to use the process and each one hires their own experienced divorce attorney. The parties and their attorneys will attend an initial meeting to set up a framework for the collaboration. Both sides will be required to enter into a contractual agreement that states that the parties agree to finalize the terms of the divorce without the court’s assistance, that all negotiations and conversations pertaining to the divorce will be kept private by the parties, and that both divorce attorneys will withdraw from the case if either party decides to take the matter to court.

After the initial meeting, both parties will have the opportunity to prepare for settlement conferences with their attorney. Settlement conferences will be held to resolve the issues of the divorce, and either party and their attorney can bring in specialists to provide information to help with the decision-making process, such as social workers, child custody experts, or financial professionals. Once these matters are resolved, an agreement is created to reflect the decisions made. Both parties sign the agreement before a notary so that it becomes legally binding.

The Benefits of the Collaborative Divorce Process

One of the main benefits of the collaborative divorce process is to keep the personal and private matters of a couple’s finances out of the court. When divorces are granted through the traditional court process, the order granting the divorce is a matter of public record as are conversations had during the court process. Additionally, the collaborative divorce process helps couples to avoid the negativity, time consumption, and financial expenses associated with lengthy litigation on divorce matters.

The collaborative divorce process also allows the parties involved in the divorce to construct an agreement that both sides can live with rather than placing the decision-making in the hands of a court that uses standard guidelines to make decisions regarding the parties’ marital assets, debts, and even the custody and support provided for their children. The couple is provided the opportunity to craft their divorce agreement in an informal setting with the encouragement of free, open, and honest communication.

What Does an Asheville Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Do?

An Asheville collaborative divorce lawyer is tasked with a number of responsibilities in the process, including protecting their client’s best interests during the discussion and making sure their input is heard by the other party. With each side having their own legal counsel, the divorce attorneys involved in a collaborative divorce are responsible for ensuring that all legal matters pertinent to the divorce are discussed, resolved, and included in the agreement. They can provide legal advice and information to their client to help them understand the issues at hand and the potential effects of the decisions being made. 

As noted, if the parties are unable to produce an agreement through the collaborative divorce process, the divorce attorneys are required to withdraw from the case. This means that both parties will have to obtain new legal counsel in order to pursue the matter in court.

Reach Out to an Asheville Divorce Lawyer Today

There are many reasons why the collaborative divorce process makes sense for many couples who are planning to divorce. For high-worth cases, the process allows the parties to keep their financial matters private. For families with small children, the process provides an opportunity to resolve divorce matters without the stressful and contentious environment of court. For those who want to be involved in determining the provisions of their divorce, the process grants them the opportunity for input.

If you’re planning to get divorced and would like more information about the collaborative divorce process and what an Asheville collaborative divorce lawyer from King Law can do to help you with your case, contact us online or call (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING for a consultation.