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Collaborative divorce as alternative to going to court

Collaborative divorce was primarily invented to motivate spouses to be more respectful and open with each other when it came to various divorce issues. The process is held outside of the courtroom. Both sides are then encouraged to provide information concerning debts and assets. Neutral experts are then retained to evaluate the needs of each spouse and any children the two spouses may have had.

There can be consequences in not successfully negotiating a settlement during a collaborative divorce, however. Depending upon the rules of a particular jurisdiction, an unsuccessful collaborative divorce may ultimately result in the spouses needing to go to court while at the same time retaining new attorneys.

Some attorneys feel that the collaborative divorce process can result in less expense of money and time. The process may also prove to be more private since financial records will not necessarily be filed with the court.

However, the process of collaborative divorce also has its critics. Like any divorce remedy, it may not always be ideal. The role of an attorney in the process of a collaborative divorce may differ from the role the attorney would play if required to try a matter in court.

It is highly recommended that clients with questions about divorce-related issues first speak to an experienced family law attorney before deciding upon any legal option. Every family law circumstance is different and requires individual attention. Also, the laws of one jurisdiction such as New Jersey may differ significantly from other jurisdictions when it comes to family law rules.

Source: Courier-Journal, "Collaborative divorces keep separation details secret," Andrew Wolfson, Dec. 15, 2013

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