Married Charlotte couples who are ready to split can opt for a collaborative divorce, an alternative process to separate that allows couples to avoid court. Those who want to avoid the courtroom need the guidance of an experienced Charlotte collaborative divorce lawyer to navigate the process and ensure they exit their marriage with the terms they want, or at the very least, terms they find fair and reasonable.
What Is Collaborative Divorce?
A collaborative divorce is an alternate way to go through the divorce process that involves private negotiations between you and your spouse instead of going to court. Both spouses have experienced collaborative divorce lawyers and make a good faith attempt to settle the terms of your separation. Prior to the beginning of the collaborative divorce, you agree on specific rules during the negotiation and agree to avoid going to court.
Collaborative divorce has become increasingly popular because both parties must commit to the process and negotiated terms are binding and final, ensuring spouses do not have to go through a long and draining court battle.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
Choosing a collaborative divorce comes with various benefits beyond avoiding the courtroom. They include:
- Private negotiations
- Control over final decisions
- Less expensive than going through the traditional divorce process
- Less time-consuming because parties decide the time and location of negotiations
- Binding decisions
- Promotes positive communication between spouses
- Less stressful for children
A Charlotte collaborative divorce lawyer can discuss the details of your divorce and advise you if a collaborative divorce is a good fit for your situation.
Elements of a Collaborative Divorce
If you and your spouse want to avoid the courtroom and quickly separate, a collaborative divorce might be the right choice for you. The process has several elements. Until you have a chance to consult with a Charlotte collaborative divorce attorney, here is a broad overview of the elements of the process once you and your spouse commit to collaborative divorce and find experienced attorneys.
During your first meeting, you and your lawyer will sit down with your spouse and their attorney to negotiate and agree on rules that will guide your collaborative divorce and that can be put into a contract. Each divorce is different, but certain stipulations are commonly found in a collaborative divorce contract. They include:
- Spouses agree to finalize their divorce without going to court.
- Charlotte collaborative divorce lawyers remove themselves if either party goes in front of a judge.
- All aspects of the collaborative divorce process must remain private.
- Spouses agree that all decisions negotiated during the process are binding.
Your Charlotte collaborative divorce attorney will help you negotiate the rules for your divorce during the initial meeting.
You and your collaborative divorce lawyer sit down with your spouse and their attorney one or more times to negotiate and resolve the terms of your divorce. The amount of meetings you need to resolve your divorce depends on your goals and the complexity of your divorce.
Beforehand, you can expect your attorney to prepare for the conference. This often includes gathering evidence, consulting with experts, and interviewing friends or family to obtain more information. Settlement conferences are not as formal as traditional divorce court proceedings, so everyone involved can speak more freely. Both sides might bring in witnesses, some of whom might be experts, such as counselors, social workers, child custody experts, and financial experts.
Finalizing Your Collaborative Divorce
After resolving the terms of your split during one or more settlement conferences, the last step of the process is to finalize your divorce. This involves signing a contract that contains all the terms you and your spouse agreed upon. Both lawyers draft a settlement agreement and you and your spouse must provide a notarized signature. The settlement agreement replaces official court orders that are issued during a traditional divorce.
When a Collaborative Divorce Goes Wrong
Married couples who choose a collaborative divorce agree to make the best attempt to resolve the terms of their divorce privately without bringing their case in front of a judge. However, settlement negotiations do not always go well. Sometimes spouses cannot agree on the terms of their split. Other times, one party feels the other side was being dishonest during the process and not acting in good faith.
If you are unhappy with the way your collaborative divorce process proceeds, you have the right to file a divorce position with a North Carolina court. However, your attorney must withdraw from the case and you need to begin the entire divorce process over from the beginning. Not only is this costly, but it comes with additional stress. It’s crucial that once you choose to commit to a collaborative divorce, you embrace the process and do everything you can to resolve your divorce without going in front of a judge.
Contact the Experienced Collaborative Divorce Attorneys at King Law Today
Getting divorced comes with the overwhelming task of dividing assets, agreeing on spousal support, and deciding the best custody arrangement when children are involved. The negative emotions and stress of traditional divorce make a difficult life event more challenging, especially when it drags on for months or years. You can avoid the stress and cost that comes with a traditional divorce by choosing a collaborative divorce.
The skilled Charlotte legal team at King Law has ample experience helping couples separate, even when it gets messy. However, we encourage couples in Charlotte who want to divorce quickly and avoid a drawn-out ordeal to seriously consider choosing a collaborative divorce. To schedule a consultation to learn more and determine the best legal options for ending your marriage call us at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING. You can also fill out our contact form.