Working Through Your Differences Collaboratively

When you are preparing for a divorce, the stress and conflict involved can be compounded by the confrontational environment of the courtroom. For this reason, the law firm of Marie A. Pulte, P.C., offers collaborative divorce services to help couples in and around Plymouth, Michigan, avoid the stress of going to court. While the process may not dampen the emotional pain of separating, it can certainly remove the logistical stress of family law disputes.

What Is Collaborative Law?

A type of alternative dispute resolution, the collaborative divorce process is an open method to resolving family conflicts cooperatively. Both spouses and their respective attorneys share information to settle the divorce outside of court.

In a collaborative divorce, both parties have an attorney to represent their interests and offer counsel around divorce issues such as division of marital assets, child custody, child support and spousal support. The couple must completely disclose all of their assets, individual or shared, so that financial and legal matters can be settled fairly. Honesty and communication are key to the collaborative divorce process.

In a collaborative divorce proceeding, you can also get input from other professionals, depending on your family's needs. For example, you could have a child psychologist or therapist participate if you have minor children. A financial adviser, real estate agent or tax expert could step in to help you divide assets equitably and determine your individual tax liabilities.

Why Choose A Collaborative Divorce?

Couples opt for collaborative divorce for many reasons:

  • Both know the marriage is over. Some couples are on good terms, but recognize that the marriage is over. For these individuals, a collaborative process allows them to maintain courteous relations while dissolving the legal union.
  • Parents want to "keep things friendly." Many parents try collaboration to maintain a working parental relationship for the sake of their children.
  • Couples want to avoid going to court. Going to court means a lengthy wait for a court date. Collaboration can be done at a mutually agreed upon time. For this reason, it is often also cheaper than a courtroom divorce.
  • Individuals want a comprehensive settlement. Couples may also use the opportunity to discuss how to handle future issues that could crop up, like spousal or child support modification, college costs and relocation of either parent.

Getting The Collaborative Process Started

Before entering into a collaborative divorce, both parties must sign a formal agreement to settle the matter outside of court. If communication breaks down and one spouse opts to take the case to court, the agreement dissolves. Parties must then get new attorneys to represent them in the court case.

If you're interested in the collaborative divorce process, our lawyers can help you determine whether it's the right method for you. Contact our firm by calling 734-233-9371 or by email to get started. We'll answer your questions and guide you through the entire process.