When going through a divorce, most couples want to avoid as much stress and financial burden as possible. For many, this means trying to avoid taking the case to court.
Collaborative divorce provides one potential way to do that. It does not work for everyone, however.
How collaborative divorce works
Cornell Law School discusses the option of collaborative divorce. In this situation, both members of the divorcing couple will hire a personal representative to negotiate on their behalf during meetings that discuss the terms of divorce.
Representatives will tackle most of the tough issues, like figuring out how to make custody arrangements work, or helping a couple decide on spousal support payments. They can also help a couple to divide up their assets and debts if they struggle to do so on their own.
Note that it is not the job of a personal representative to mediate disputes. They may actually suggest a couple hire one separately if they feel that arguments happen too often, or if the arguments seem too explosive in nature.
Who it works for
Thus, collaborative divorce tends to work best for a couple that can set aside their differences and work together to come to a mutually agreeable conclusion. This does not mean that a couple must agree on all things or have an amiable relationship. They simply need to have the ability to cooperate. It is also important that they can make concessions in order to facilitate a faster agreement.
For couples who cannot seem to set aside their arguments long enough to reach an agreement, other options that avoid the court may still remain available.