Collaborative Divorce in New Jersey
Collaborative law is a method of dispute resolution whereby each party retains an attorney, as well as other experts as a case may require, including accountants, mental health practitioners or financial professionals. The parties, attorneys and professionals then sign an agreement committing to work together, outside of litigation, to arrive at the terms of an agreement. There are both advantages and disadvantages to collaborative divorce in New Jersey. Here is what you should know.
Collaborative Divorce in New Jersey | Advantages
- As a non-adversarial proceeding, this process allows the parties to maintain a healthier relationship during and after the divorce. Privacy is also preserved in the Collaborative law process.
- Negotiations can occur prior to the filing of any pleadings with the court, allowing the parties to focus on the issues at hand while avoiding allegations about one other.
- The parties have complete control over the manner and timetable in which the agreement is reached. Settlements to which both parties agree remain sustainable over longer periods of time and invite more consistent compliance than do court ordered mandates.
- Collaborative law is different from mediation in that the parties each involve an attorney to serve as their advocate, rather than work mutually with an impartial mediator to reach a decision.
- If a client prioritizes working toward a peaceful amicable solution over winning at all costs, the client’s values will be honored in the Collaborative law process.
Collaborative Divorce in New Jersey | Disadvantages
- As with all alternatives to litigation, the financial disclosures made by a party are not subject to the same scrutiny for falsity or omissions. However, any discovered fraudulent omission or statement is still subject to further accountability.
- With mutual agreement, testimony can be provided by third parties, but cannot be required by the court.
- Clients lose the enforcement right for orders in the litigation process.
- The requirement that the lawyers withdraw from representation in the event of a stalemate still requires each party to obtain new counsel. However, in the Collaborative law process, both parties can agree to have any unresolved case issues arbitrated.
- The Collaborative law process, like mediation, may not be appropriate where there is a history or pattern of family violence.
If you and your spouse are seeking a stress-free divorce, please contact our New Jersey collaborative divorce lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.