Quick Guide to Divorce without War
What is Divorce without War?
The term, divorce without war, is also known as collaborative law. The legal process began in Florida in 1992, and more and more spouses have sought this option in recent years. The action allows two spouses to avoid litigation and reach a compromise instead of becoming involved in a stressful settlement process.
Each spouse must hire an attorney to help them with the divorce without war. Each party signs a contract that states they may not go to court. If either party forces court action, the divorce without war becomes ineffective and all of the lawyers associated with the legal process are not allowed to be involved in the case any longer.
What else is stated in a Divorce without War Contract?
Beside each party’s promise not to take the case to trial, a contact will also state the following:
1) Disclosure of Documents- each party promises to disclose all documents and information. If either spouse notices a mistake within the documents that would affect the other spouse, they must act in good faith and take action to fix the mistake.
2) Respect- each party promises to act in a respectful manner around the other spouse.
3) Insulating Children- each spouse/parent agrees to keep the children out of the process as much as possible. Each party also agrees to keep the child’s best interests in mind
4) Sharing Experts- if any outside professional is need within the settlement, an accountant for example, each party agrees to share the costs associated with those professionals.
5) Win-Win Solution- each party agrees to reach a compromise that keeps every party’s interests in mind. They also agree to reach this compromise as quickly as possible.
What Other Professional Experts may be needed in Collaborative Law?
Any number of professionals may become involved in a divorce without war. A child specialist is often needed within this type of settlement in order to help the children understand that the divorce is not their fault. The specialist may help them communicate with their parents, and they may even suggest things the children recommend to the parents as far as support and custody.
Other experts may be needed as well. Each party may choose to hire a mental health counselor, financial advisors, vocational experts, property appraisers, and any other number of qualified individuals.
Why do Spouses Choose Divorce without War?
Besides keeping the settlement out of court, there are a number of other advantages to divorce without war. The first advantage is time. Most collaborative law cases become settled much faster than court settlements, and each party usually receives at least most of their wishes.
Secondly, the collaborative law process is much more cost effective than a settlement that goes to trial. Court costs are very expensive, and the longer the case goes on, the more expensive a divorce can become.
Lastly, a majority of divorces without war are settled. More than 90% of cases are resolved in this way. The measure keeps the procedure out of the public eye and avoids litigation that can last at least a year.