There is a perception that California divorces will be naturally adversarial and the sides will disagree about every issue. The belief that cases are destined to be filled with negativity is understandable given the attention difficult divorces get.
However, that is not true in every case. In some instances, people are not on bad terms. They simply want to end the marriage, come to a reasonable resolution over lingering issues and move on with their lives.
This is when collaborative divorce could be an alternative and knowing how to negotiate settlements and have the court approve them will come to the forefront. For those who are considering these options to end their marriage, it is still important to have professional advice to be fully protected.
What are key points about collaborative divorce and negotiated settlements?
A collaborative divorce means that the sides will meet with professionals who have training and experience in facilitating settlements and bridging gaps between parties. Those embarking on this road are advised to have legal representation that is skilled with collaborative law. The two sides will meet and discuss their issues amicably and calmly.
Specialists in family law can be part of the case. For example, if there is a problem with coming to a child custody and parenting time protocol, specialists in that area can take part. With a collaborative divorce, the parties generally sign a contract precluding going to court. In situations where the parties are unable to come to terms, the legal professionals will withdraw from the case.
Many might confuse collaborative divorce with mediation. Mediation means an impartial individual will listen to both sides and try to guide them to reach a middle ground. The mediator is not affiliated with either side and they do not decide on the case. Their role is to simply help move things along and forge a settlement, if it is possible.
When negotiating a divorce, there are fundamentals that should be part of the discussion. An example is property division. There might be a family home that one side wants to keep and live in with the children to limit the upheaval they will face.
The other person could be willing to allow the custodial parent to retain the house in exchange for other marital property or a buyout of the home. The same is true for all other aspects of a divorce from custody to parenting time to spousal support and child support.
Professional help with collaborative divorce is imperative to reach a good result
Even in situations where people are starting a new life after a marriage, it does not need to be rife with hard feelings. Many couples can discuss their position, talk about what they want, be flexible, negotiate and come to an accommodation that suits both parties.
The collaborative process is in place to avoid costly and time-consuming court cases and let the sides discuss their goals, show flexibility, work together and part ways without the customary rancor that afflicts many family law cases.
Even though this is meant for people who are on reasonably good terms, that does not mean they should ignore the need for advice. Consulting with professionals whose primary objective is to help people through ha troubling time in their life can forge solutions that might not otherwise be available in a court-centered family law case.