Who Is Collaborative Divorce Right For?

Collaborative divorce is right for people who do not have any major disagreements on custody, a history of domestic violence, and where the parties are pretty much aware of what the other side has (in terms of income and assets). There also needs to be basic agreement on how property is going to be dissolved and transferred and how assets are going to be dealt with.

Do I Need An Attorney For A Collaborative Approach?

If you are going to do collaborative law, you need an attorney who is certified to practice collaborative law. In New York, there is a listing of those attorneys on the nycourts.gov website. There is also a website called www.collabdivorce.net, where they have a listing of attorneys in Westchester and Putnam Counties who are certified to practice collaborative law.

What Is The Role Of An Attorney Then In A Collaborative Divorce Or A Collaborative Approach?

Attorneys are going to represent their party's interests. They can guide them through the process and mediate, on behalf of their client, at the various conferences. The attorneys are also there to draft the divorce documents - so they will draft the ultimate settlement agreement as well as the ultimate judgment package that gets submitted to the court.

What Are The Rules Of Financial Disclosure In A Collaborative Divorce Case?

There are very few formal rules regarding financial disclosure, simply because there is very little in terms of actual financial disclosure. Sometimes, even in a collaborative law process, the parties submit net worth statements. Beyond that, in the collaborative law process, usually the parties already agree on finances going into the process. If there are substantial differences, or allegations of hidden income or assets, it is not a good case for the collaborative law process.

What Happens If We Reach An Agreement In My Collaborative Divorce On Almost Everything Except For A Few Issues? Does That Mean We Need To Start Over And Actually Litigate?

The issue is that if you have signed an agreement not to contest the case and the collaborative process is unsuccessful in reaching a full settlement agreement on all of the issues, the parties will be required to end the process - which results in both attorneys withdrawing from the case. Consequently, both parties will have to retain new counsel for a contested divorce.

Additional Information On The Collaborative Divorce Procedure In New York

If both parties are in agreement on all the major issues, then one may not need to do the collaborative process in the first place. One attorney can draw up a settlement agreement, have both of them review it, and submit it to the court. As stated, if there is any disagreement on custody, visitation, how assets/property should be divided, or how maintenance or child support will be arrived at, the case is generally not good for the collaborative law process and you will just end up needing a traditional divorce attorney anyway.

For more information on Suitability Of The Collaborative Divorce Process (versus the traditional divorce process), an initial consultation is your next step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (914) 368-7580 today.