What is a Cooperative Divorce Approach?
A cooperative divorce approach is similar to the Collaborative Law process in that it centers on a respectful negotiation process that involves a series of settlement conferences between the parties and their attorneys, but does not require both attorneys to be specially trained in Collaborative Law, nor prohibits the attorneys from going to court and litigating on their client’s behalf should one of the parties refuse to continue cooperatively with negotiations. Also, either party can file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage before or during the cooperative process, and the traditional discovery process may be utilized if needed to gather financial data or other information.
A cooperative divorce approach still assists in creating and maintaining a non-confrontational negotiation climate where compromise and settlement can take place.
The purpose of a cooperative divorce approach is to help the parties minimize the time, pain, cost, and destruction of divorce proceedings. Its structure gives a divorcing couple a sensible and effective way of presenting their positions to one another, in a less formal way from the Collaborative Law process.
A cooperative divorce approach is more likely to proceed to litigation than a collaborative divorce, however, it is important to note this does not always happen, and is only done if it is absolutely necessary. In even this case, there will likely be only a few remaining issues, which would result in the overall process still being much shorter and less expensive than an acrimonious divorce.
Why Choose a Cooperative Divorce Approach?
The first benefit of not litigating a divorce is the obvious one…avoiding costly hearings and a trial. The traditional divorce litigation process is expensive and takes a long time, typically a year or even longer. Neither party wants a long, costly, emotionally draining experience for themselves or for their children. A cooperative divorce approach also improves the communications between the parties and promotes better co-parenting.
Interested in learning more?
Contact our firm to schedule a consultation with Margaret Bennett so she can answer all of your questions about the cooperative divorce approach and whether it may be right for you.