Introducing a new five-part series of revealing articles focusing on the collaborative approach to divorce. At the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, we seek to educate and inform individuals who browse the internet in search of accurate information about the available divorce options. Our series on collaborative divorce is a must-read for anyone considering divorce. For more information visit our website.
Even when couples enter into a collaborative divorce with the best
intentions, sometimes the process breaks down and parties must take a more
litigious route to complete their divorce.
The failure of the collaborative process may occur for various reasons,
and when it does, starting over can be expensive.
When a couple enters into the collaborative process they should be
confident that they will be able to proceed in an agreeable and cooperative
fashion. However, once the divorce is
underway, it is not uncommon for unforeseen issues to arise, and spouses may
realize that they are not in agreement on as many areas as they had expected.
At the root of the concept of collaborative divorce is trust. Many
failures of collaborative divorce are due to one or both parties’ perception
that the other party is not being fully honest. Once it is suspected that there
is an attempt by either party to be less than honest in a collaborative
divorce, the process may begin to break down.
Among concerns that couples express when entering into any kind of
divorce is that of timeframe. They want
to know how long it will take for the divorce to be final. This may be, in part,
because divorce is an emotional event for anyone to go through, but more likely
because prolonging the process can also add to the financial burden.
Unfortunately, when a collaborative divorce attempt breaks down and the
spouses move into a more traditional process, the parties must re-establish
themselves with new attorneys who will take over their cases. This is necessary as the former collaborative
attorneys have been privy to information shared in open meetings with both
clients and have had a level of exposure not typical in a non-collaborative
divorce. Therefore, they are unable to further represent their clients.
The necessity for divorcing spouses to find new counsel results in
unavoidable duplication of effort as the new attorneys collect and evaluate the
details of the case. This not only adds
to the timeframe of the divorce, but the expense as well.
In addition, since collaborative divorce is a team concept, it may
entail additional professionals such as a financial neutral or divorce coach to
assist in aspects of divorce, each billing for their time. If the collaborative
attempt fails after several months of meetings, the related expenses will have
accumulated and may result in thousands of additional dollars that were spent.
When a collaborative divorce breaks down, it is guaranteed that there
will be a recovery period to get the divorce process back on track. The added
cost of this transition is different for every case, but unavoidable in this
situation. The collaborative process is
not advisable for every divorce case, and the possibility of failure is an
important consideration when deciding whether the collaborative approach is
right for you.