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Collaborative Law is Not Always the Answer

You have probably heard great things about collaborative divorces. “They save money,” “they are less stressful than other types of divorce,” “they allow the couple, not the court, to have control,” and “they make it easier to remain friendly after the divorce,” are all statements you have probably read or heard about this type of divorce. While these statements can be true for many couples, collaborative divorce is not a one-size-fits-all divorce strategy. There are many situations where other types of divorce, such as mediation or litigation, are better options.

Below are a few scenarios where collaborative divorce is not the appropriate choice for a couple. Be honest with yourself when you read through these – if you are currently experiencing one of these scenarios, a collaborative divorce might not be the right choice for you.

Your Marriage has a History of Domestic Violence

If there is a history of domestic violence in your household, you probably do not have the type of relationship with your spouse to successfully complete a collaborative divorce. This is because domestic violence accompanies a power imbalance between a couple and leaves lasting emotional and physical damage to the victim. A collaborative divorce requires the couple to talk openly with each other to reach their goals, which is often not possible when there is fear or resentment between them.

You Think your Spouse is Hiding Assets

It is not uncommon for individuals going through the divorce process to hide assets in an attempt to avoid having them divided. This can be done through cash purchases, moving assets into another party’s name, or putting off certain investments or promotions until after the divorce is finalized. Collaborative divorces can only work when couples are honest with each other – if you do not trust that your spouse is not hiding assets, do not seek a collaborative divorce.

Your Spouse has a History of Refusing to Cooperate with the Court

Collaborative divorces also require each partner to comply with the rules of the process. If your partner has a history of ignoring court obligations, failing to meet deadlines or make required payments, or simply tends to make things more difficult than they need to be, you might not be good candidates for a collaborative divorce. A courtroom divorce has structure and penalties for individuals who do not comply with the court’s requirements. Some couples need this structure and penalties to successfully complete their divorce.

Work with a Winter Park Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Although a collaborative law divorce can be a great option for many couples, it is not always the right option for everybody. If you see your own marriage in any of the situations detailed above, a collaborative divorce might not be right for you. Learn more about your divorce options by speaking with the divorce lawyers at Cotter & Zelman, P.A. They can analyze your situation and guide you to the type of divorce that works best for you and your spouse.

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