If you and your spouse are considering dissolving your marriage, entering a collaborative separation may be in your best interests. Before starting divorce proceedings in Tennessee, it is important to understand how collaborative divorce works and its advantages and drawbacks.
A divorce attorney could help you determine if this type of separation is suitable for your circumstances. Both parties should be informed and in agreement when choosing to use this approach, and a Hamilton County collaborative divorce lawyer could help you through the process.
Collaborative divorce is simply an alternative dispute resolution to a marital dissolution. It is designed to help parties outline mutually agreed-upon parenting plans, financial arrangements, and support on their own terms. While some divorces can be somewhat hostile, this method focuses on negotiating and keeping the spouses and any children free of conflict and out of the courtroom.
Other benefits of collaborative separations include, but are not limited to, the following:
Although a collaborative divorce helps Hamilton County parties avoid unnecessary conflict, it is still beneficial to have skilled attorneys working on each party’s behalf through the process.
If either party decides to withdraw from the collaborative divorce process in Hamilton County, the lawyers for both spouses are disqualified from providing representation in the divorce or court. Both parties in this situation would lose the funds that they have invested up to that point in legal fees, as well. However, in some cases, this disadvantage can motivate the parties to encourage negotiation and find resolutions.
When initiating the process, both parties agree to proceed and not to litigate. Each hires their own legal representation, experienced in collaborative law, to represent them. The local lawyers would then prepare an agreement to enter into a good-faith negotiation.
The parties schedule meetings to then reach an agreement on as many issues as possible. The complexity of the case determines the number of necessary meetings. Other parties may also be asked to attend, such as financial or child specialists, if there are special needs to be considered.
Both spouses are then asked to disclose all relative financial information in a voluntary exchange of information and documents. If, or when, a final agreement is reached, both spouses can sign documents that dissolve the marriage, divide the assets, and lay out parenting plans and support guidelines. Finally, the parties submit their agreement to the judge to finalize the decree.
Deciding to divorce your spouse is not an easy one. However, having experienced legal counsel on your side can help ease the process, provide you with answers to any questions you have, and walk you through the procedure.
If you need legal assistance at any point during the process, a Hamilton County collaborative divorce lawyer might be able to help. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with a caring advocate.