Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, the parties commit to settle their case. To show that commitment, they sign a contract called a Participation Agreement that signifies the commencement of a collaborative divorce.  As the case progresses and issues arise, other professionals such as custody and financial experts, are brought in to help resolve the case issue-by-issue.  Two of our attorneys, Jeralyn Lawrence and Rita Aquilio are members of the New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups. The collaborative approach mitigates fighting and the strain of litigation, while promoting respect and keeps the spouses in control of the divorce process.

Frequently Asked New Jersey Collaborative Divorce Questions

What is a collaborative divorce?

It is an approach to divorce by using a “team” approach to identify and address the issues to be resolved. The “team” consists of the parties, their collaboratively trained attorneys and other professionals or experts.

How does the process work?

The parties and their attorneys sign a Participation Agreement, which is a contract and states that they will use their best efforts to resolve the matter without court intervention. The attorneys will represent the parties during the collaborative process, during negotiations, in order to reach a settlement. The attorneys agree to withdraw from the case if either spouse decides to file any pleadings other than those needed to obtain an uncontested divorce.

What are benefits of collaborative divorce?

The benefits for the parties include being cost-effective, open and transparent exchange of financial documents, and having a team approach, rather than a one-sided, emotionally draining dynamic. It is also confidential and not open to the public so the parties can protect and ensure their privacy. The meetings also occur at an attorney’s office instead of at the courthouse and occur at a time convenient to all individuals.

Does an attorney need special training to handle a collaborative divorce?

An attorney must complete sixteen (16) hours of collaborative training, have mediation training (which is forty hours), as well as an annual refresher requirement of four hours.

Besides lawyers, are other professionals part of the collaborative divorce process?

Yes, while each situation is different, teams can be comprised of a financial professional, a divorce coach, and/or a child specialist. Other professionals may include appraisers, mortgage brokers or other vocational experts.

Does a Collaborative Divorce cost less than a traditional divorce or mediation?

It generally costs less than litigation. Litigation is an adversarial process that requires extensive time and resources, both of the parties and the attorneys representing them. In contract, the collaborative process is one which is confidential and promotes the parties working together in hopes of efficiently and expeditiously resolving all issues amicably between them.

How is Collaborative Divorce Process better for our children?

By its very nature, it is a less adversarial process which promotes the parties’ working together. This not only transcends the parties resolving issues relative to the divorce proceedings but encourages that they work together to promote the best interests of the minor children involved. The entire philosophy of the collaborative approach is to keep the children at the forefront of the divorce but not in the middle.

Blog
Can You Adopt Your Partner’s Child in a Same-Sex Relationship?

Can You Adopt Your Partner’s Child in a Same-Sex Relationship? According to the federal government, 15% of same-sex couples have children as a part of their household. This could include children who were adopted or biologically conceived by one or both of the parents. In that case, there are parenting issues at play if the…

Read More
Blog
Why Courts Order Supervised Parenting and How It Works

Why Courts Order Supervised Parenting and How It Works Even though only about 10% of child abuse allegations are substantiated, courts will perceive that there is a risk to the children in a number of circumstances. When this happens, they may order supervised visits. Here is what you need to know about supervised parenting. It…

Read More
Blog
What Are Child Support Payments Used For?

What Are Child Support Payments Used For? In 2015, the average amount of child support due from a paying parent was $5,760 annually. For both of the parents, the check is a very significant item in their financial lives. Naturally, each will have questions about this payment since it takes on great importance. Lawyers Are…

Read More
News
Jeralyn Lawrence Speaking at New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education Mediation Training

Jeralyn Lawrence is speaking at the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Mediation Training for Family Law Cases on March 1,8,15,22, and 29.   It is a 5-day course of mediation training designed to teach participants to become a court-approved mediator.  

Read More
News
Five Lawrence Law Attorneys Named to Super Lawyer New Jersey List

  Jeralyn Lawrence, Amy Wechsler, Amy Shimalla, Kristyl Berckes, and Ashley Edwards have been selected to the 2021 New Jersey Super Lawyers list. Ashley Edwards and Kristyl Berckes were selected as Super Lawyer Rising Stars.  Jeralyn Lawrence, Amy Wechsler, and Amy Shimalla were selected in the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers New Jersey.  Jeralyn was…

Read More

Disclaimer and information can be found here, including links to descriptions and selection methodologies. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Call Now ButtonCall Us