As a licensed mediator and collaborative family law attorney, I believe in alternative dispute resolution. ROAD to RESOLUTION is a non-adversarial law practice which means that I work with families outside of court to settle their matters through collaborative divorce, mediation, and private agreements. Our legal team is committed to fostering a space for cooperation and collaboration.
Over the years, I’ve talked with many divorced men and women who say they wish they knew about collaborative law when they previously went through the divorce process. I feel the same way. When my ex-husband and I divorced in the early 2000s, we weren’t aware of the other options. It’s unfortunate because we really were the perfect couple for collaborative divorce. Once our divorce was finalized, I knew there had to be a better way for spouses to divorce and I was dedicated to helping them do it. I became a licensed meditator and founded ROAD to RESOLUTION. I later attended law school, earned a Juris Doctor, and passed the bar exams in North Carolina and South Carolina. My Charlotte-based law firm now focuses on divorce mediation and collaborative family law.
One of my goals as a mediator and collaborative attorney is to increase awareness of alternative dispute resolutions and help couples divorce in a healthy manner. Here are five ways to tell if divorce through collaborative law or mediation is right for you and your spouse:
You both agree the marriage is over
Many spouses who consider divorce options know their marriage is coming to an end or has already ended. When my ex-husband and I divorced, we knew our marriage had run its course. We were emotionally exhausted and knew that we would be better people and better parents if we parted ways from each other. This realization came after years of working through our problems and trying to make our marriage last.
One of the best decisions I made was meeting with an attorney for pre-divorce education. This opportunity helped me gather my thoughts and prepare for the journey ahead. As a way to help spouses who are considering divorce, I now offer this service through ROAD to RESOLUTION. Pre-divorce education is a helpful place to start when you believe you’re heading toward divorce and need information on the next steps to take and how to move forward.
You want to handle your divorce civilly
Choosing collaborative divorce means that you and your spouse both want to find a healthy and respectful way to end your marriage. Nearly all divorces will have challenges and emotions. Yet, collaborative divorce couples agree to a respectful divorce process that will produce a mutually beneficial outcome. In fact, each spouse – along with their attorneys – must sign what is known as a Participation Agreement. Through this contract, the couple shows their commitment to using collaboration and cooperation strategies during their divorce process.
You can make sound decisions without a judge
Collaborative divorce and mediation are alternative dispute resolution options that take place out of court. This means that you and your spouse don’t have to step foot into a courtroom or face a judge to create a separation agreement, divorce agreement, and/or shared parenting agreement.
If you and your spouse choose collaborative divorce, you will each have your own collaborative-trained divorce attorney. A series of meetings take place between both spouses and their attorneys to determine a fair resolution for all involved. In a group setting, the attorneys help to guide the spouses through respectful discussion.
You are committed to fairly dividing your assets
For many spouses who explore divorce, they just want to end their marriage and move on with their lives. Those who choose collaborative divorce don’t want to fight over assets or create contention over who gets what house, car, or investments. Instead, they truly want a win-win outcome for both parties. In addition, the divorcing couple can utilize additional experts, like financial planners or advisors. These neutral experts are able to help create a reasonable agreement that will fairly divide assets.
High net worth divorces, involving significant assets and income, can also be handled through collaborative law. As a collaborative-trained divorce attorney, I am committed to guiding couples toward resolution, no matter the assets. While this type of divorce may be more complex and require sophisticated handling, I have experience in careful preparation to identify individual assets and minimize potential tax liabilities. At ROAD to RESOLUTION, we work with qualified CPAs, financial planners, business valuation experts, tax professionals, and forensic economists. Together, we will determine the proper valuation of restricted stock awards, commercial property assets, business or personal investments, tangible and intangible business assets, active and passive appreciation of investments, compensation packages and pensions unique to executives, as well as inheritances obtained during the marriage.
You want to save time, money, and unnecessary emotional turmoil
While this may sound too good to be true, collaborative divorce is known to save time and money. Divorces that are done through litigation in a courtroom might take years to finalize. It’s a drawn-out and expensive process from the time of separation to the time of conclusion. One of the goals of collaborative law is to not take any more time than what is needed, which can also save money. Collaborative divorce is known to cost less than litigation since collaborative divorce attorneys aren’t bound to courtroom deadlines, delays, lengthy proceedings, elaborate filing, and attendance.
Collaborative divorce is also known to avoid unnecessary emotional turmoil. The process of divorce is essentially conflict resolution. As with any dispute, there will be difficult discussions and challenging conversations. Despite this, the collaborative divorce journey is one that utilizes respectful communication and understanding rather than combative tactics and contentious situations. Since both spouses agree to the non-adversarial process through a Participation Agreement, they commit to avoiding unnecessary conflict and emotional turmoil.
We’re Here to Help
Are you still wondering if you and your spouse are the ideal couple for collaborative divorce? Please give us a call at (980) 260-1600 and we can discuss your legal options. Our Charlotte-based team is here to help you and your family.
The ROAD to RESOLUTION Divorce Blog can help you differentiate the fact from the fiction, and guide you towards the support you need during this difficult time. Use our resources and services to find all the info you need—from pre-divorce education to drafting essential legal documents. Please contact us today to find out more about how we can help you.
Note: This blog is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice.