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Collaborative Divorce

Many people think of divorce as a hostile, antagonistic, adversarial process. Although some cases live up to that unfortunate hype, many cases can be resolved through a cooperative, collaborative effort by the spouses. When the issues involved in a divorce are resolved through the use of collaborative divorce, the former spouses are more likely to be satisfied with the outcome, and are more likely, in their lives after the divorce, to interact with each other amicably. This can be particularly beneficial for people who share children and will engage in regular communication regarding their care.

Collaborative divorce can be an ideal alternative to traditional litigation. To learn more, call Donaldson Stewart, P.C., at 480-792-9770 and arrange a time to speak with Attorney Monica Donaldson Stewart, who is trained and experienced in collaborative divorce matters.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

Collaborative divorce is a specific process that is governed by Rule 67.1 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure. One of the key features of a collaborative divorce is that the spouses commit to resolving the issues in their divorce without litigation. The spouses are each guided by their respective collaborative attorneys. There may also be other professionals on a "collaborative team" to assist the spouses in reaching agreements regarding the outcome of their divorce. For example, a neutral financial specialist may be involved to help gather and interpret information regarding the marital assets and debts, as well as income and expenses. The spouses might also choose to work with a collaborative coach to assist them in improving their communication related to the divorce, and to help keep the focus on the present and the future rather than on the past. In cases where the spouses share a child or children, they may elect to seek the input of a child specialist. These professionals, along with others that the team may choose to include, all have one goal: to help you make informed decisions and reach agreements about your future.

In collaborative divorce, both spouses, as well as their entire collaborative team, will all sign an agreement to reach a settlement through collaboration. If the spouses are unable to reach an agreement collaboratively, the collaborative team will disband and will be unable to offer services in any future proceedings. The collaborative process is intended to take place entirely out of the courtroom.

The spouses and professional team involved in the collaborative process will discuss all of the pertinent divorce issues in a series of meetings. The meetings will address all aspects of the divorce, which may include:

The collaborative process is empowering because it places the control in your hands rather than in the hands of a judge. With help and representation from your lawyer and professional team, you will arrive at a divorce settlement knowing that you helped to shape the outcome.

The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is still divorce — and divorce is rarely easy. The collaborative structure, however, does provide many benefits that can make the process as cooperative and positive as possible.

  • Collaborative divorce is a more private option. Unlike a litigated divorce, your personal details need not be exposed to the public.
  • Children are impacted by divorce in many ways. When a parenting time agreement is reached collaboratively, the parents have more amicable and cooperative relationships with each other.
  • You have informed control over the final outcome, which may not happen in a litigated divorce.

Is the Collaborative Process Right for Your Situation?

Donaldson Stewart, P.C. is committed to protecting our clients' interests as we guide them through difficult life transitions. We offer a free initial consultation to help you determine whether collaborative law is suitable for your divorce and we can offer other options as well. Contact us online today or call our Chandler, Arizona, law firm at 480-792-9770.

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Donaldson Stewart, P.C.
3100 W. Ray Road
Suite 115
Chandler, AZ 85226

Phone: 480-792-9770
Fax: 480-792-9771
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