5 Key Differences Between Collaborative and Litigated Divorce

Even the most amicable divorces have potentially contentious issues, such as child custody and division of marital assets and debts. Collaborative law is an alternative dispute resolution process that allows you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys to work as a team to resolve them instead of confronting each other in court.

Below are five key differences between collaborative and traditionally litigated divorce.  While there are occasions when litigation is the recommended option, collaborative divorce represents certain advantages for couples who are willing to work together to create their own divorce settlement.

5 Key Differences

  1. More privacy. The court process becomes a matter of public record, and both hearings and trials are conducted in open court. Collaborative sessions are confidential, enabling you and your spouse to keep your personal and financial information private.
  2. Easier on the children. Collaborative divorce is non-adversarial, so your children do not have to be subjected to their parents fighting. Collaborative teams also frequently include child specialists who can act as a compassionate sounding board for the concerns and feelings of the kids.
  3. More control over the outcome. The collaborative law process gives you more control over the outcome of the divorce proceeding. Instead of having a judge make the decisions that impact your future and that of your family, you can play an active role in your own divorce and arrive at a fair, compromise-driven settlement.
  4. Increases the likelihood of a future amicable relationship. With collaborative divorce, you are more likely to maintain a positive relationship with your former spouse afterward. This is especially important when there are children involved, as you will both be able to cooperate and assume a shared parenting role more easily.
  5. Quicker divorce resolution. In general, collaborative divorces are concluded more quickly than traditional ones because you and your spouse do not have to rely on an often-packed court schedule. You choose the time and place, which makes it easier to reach a settlement faster.

If you and your spouse find that you can’t reach an agreement collaboratively and decide that certain matters can only be resolved via litigation, then your respective attorneys and any support experts that may have been retained, such as financial planners and divorce coaches, must all withdraw from your case. You will have to engage new legal counsel to support you in the courtroom.

Collaborative law is growing in popularity among divorcing couples who want to keep their personal and financial information private and are willing to work together on matters such as child custody and support, alimony, and property distribution. It also helps you and your spouse maintain a positive relationship during and after the divorce, which is a positive outcome for everyone involved.

Attorneys from the McConnell Family Law Group practice throughout Connecticut, covering: Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Westport, Wilton, West Hartford, Simsbury, Avon, Farmington, Glastonbury and surrounding areas.  If you would like more information about collaborative divorce, call one of our offices located in Hartford (860) 266-1166, Stamford (203) 539-6221, or New Canaan (203) 344-7007 to schedule your appointment today.

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