If you are going through a divorce, it is normal to feel anger, resentment and hostility toward your spouse, especially when they decided on a divorce without your consent. A divorce can be a drawn-out battle in court. It could focus on proving who deserves what and why the other does not deserve it, which can cause you and your kids more harm. Furthermore, you will have less control over the settlement.
Fortunately, you can pursue a collaborative divorce by setting aside your differences and negotiating a mutually beneficial settlement. A collaborative divorce begins with cooperation and a willingness to participate, formalized by a participation agreement.
The collaborative divorce participation agreement
A collaborative divorce is voluntary and contractually based. You both must be willing to participate in the process, and you should understand what that participation entails. By signing the participation agreement, you and your former spouse agree to the following:
- To not seek judicial resolution of a dispute during the collaborative process
- To disclose all financial information fully and voluntarily with honesty and openness
- To behave with respect and dignity
- To work to preserve the self-esteem of everyone involved
- To make decisions in the best interests of the children
- To use neutral experts
- To protect the confidentiality of the collaborative process
- To negotiate a settlement instead of going to court
If the collaborative process fails and litigation becomes an option, neither of the parties can use the obtained information as evidence in court. Communications during the collaborative process are privileged. The attorneys who represented you in the process must withdraw if negotiations fail.
Collaboration is about working together as allies. It is a commitment to find a solution that will benefit everyone involved.