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Does collaborative divorce make sense for you?

Today in Louisiana, there are many different ways to accomplish getting a divorce. Which method will be the best depends on the specific circumstances of the parties and what their goals are in the divorce process. For those who are focused on ending the marriage and moving forward quickly and without a lot of expense, collaborative divorce has become more popular in recent years.

So what is a collaborative divorce? At it's most basic, it is when both spouses are represented by one attorney. Many people choose collaborative divorce in order to save money on attorneys fees and eliminate some of the conflict that they percieve can occur when there are two opposing sides. This approach can be helpful for couples who do not have a lot of complex assets and do not have children, or for those who are generally in agreement over the main issues in the divorce. However, many people who are in the midst of the divorce process know that agreeing on the issues may be easier said than done. 

Of course, there are alternatives to a collaborative divorce that can accomplish similar goals such as cost savings and less conflict. One example is mediation, which allows both sides to discuss their goals with the divorce and their needs for a settlement agreement, but preserves the participation of attorneys on each side to make sure someone is protecting your rights as an individual. 

At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that going through the trial process is necessary in some cases. Although it can be more time-consuming, a trial may be the best option when the parties cannot agree on basic issues in the divorce and need judicial intervention to ensure fairness in the ultimate spousal support, child custody and support, and asset division arrangements. 

Source: US News & World Report, "Why a Collaborative Divorce Makes Financial Sense," Geoff Williams, Aug. 19, 2013. 

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