With lawyers, financial consultants, mental health experts and child care consultants, a collaborative divorce can be conducted in three months.
The legal process required to complete a contested divorce is so expensive, many people remain in unpleasant marriages rather than pay the financial price to split up.
But there is a way to avoid the high end of legal costs and get out of the marriage without mortgaging your financial future.
Many marriage and legal experts promote the concept of collaborative divorce, a way for two married people who are able to have a mature conversation about their futures apart to separate without eliminating much of the family savings in the process.
In a collaborative divorce, issues are settled together by the couple in a room that includes a lawyer for each spouse, a financial professional and a counselor who can address the emotional needs of each spouse.
The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals explains that each spouse in a collaborative divorce has a lawyer, a financial professional and a mental health or child welfare professional to assist with the details as both sides work toward a peaceful and much less expensive dissolution.
Collaborative divorce is different than mediation, which requires the parties to get together once to discuss how the process is going to go and to express their points of view regarding the end of the process. But then lawyers take over and work to come to a solution without involving court appearances.
According to industry experts, contested divorces that end up in court can cost six figures easily, even when the couple doesn’t have $100,000 to put to the fight. Collaborative divorces that go smoothly cost somewhere in the area of $30,000.
From the aspect of time, collaborative divorces can be settled and have papers signed within three or four months, while trial divorces can take years due to the heavy schedules judges carry and the lawyers who benefit from a dragged out legal process.
Often, when contested divorces drag on, financials have to be renegotiated when a change in financial fortunes occurs.
A collaborative divorce requires each side to sign a contract agreeing to resolve their situation with full disclosure, transparency and mutual respect. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses meet together, speak their desired results from the divorce, and reach their own financial and legal solutions with the aid of the lawyers in the room.
One other benefit to collaborative divorces is that they are completely private. Divorces that run through the legal system are matters of public record.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.