Divorce might seem straightforward, but its proceedings could be lengthy, depending on the circumstances. Some divorcing couples choose alternative options to shorten the process and lessen the administrative costs of litigation.
Aside from mediation, couples could go through collaborative divorce. This option allows the couple to settle divorce matters out of court while maintaining the structure and formality usually seen in litigation.
It also employs the help of professionals who could provide valuable insight and clarity to specific topics. But first, you must come up with a collaborative divorce or family law participation agreement.
This document can only be valid if it meets the following conditions:
- It must be written.
- It must have the signatures of both parties.
- It must have statements expressing each party’s intent to collaborate and resolve their divorce issues.
- It must indicate the nature and extent of the agreement.
- It must contain the lawyers’ identity and confirmation of providing legal representation.
This agreement must also include provisions for renouncing court involvement during the process, including experts for impartial advice and lawyers’ right to withdraw from the case if either party decides to go to court instead.
How does it start and end?
Both parties can kick off the process by setting up and signing a participation agreement. Then, they will negotiate, bringing in various experts as needed.
Once they settle all matters, they must document and sign the resolutions. Then, they could submit the paperwork to the court for approval if needed.
Sometimes, the divorcing couple could exclude specific issues from the agreement and address them outside the collaborative process. If both parties cannot agree, they may end the process there and take matters to court.