Enholm Law is pleased to announce that beginning October 16, 2023, we will be offering Collaborative Divorce as an option versus Traditional Divorce.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is designed to remove the stress and hostility of traditional divorce. In short, it is a more cooperative process between the parties. To begin the collaborative process both parties must agree to utilize this option and hire collaboratively trained attorneys. The process generally involves a team of professionals such as attorneys, financial experts and mental health professionals.
This process eliminates several motions and court appearances which results in reduced attorney fees and costs and preserves emotional health for the parties.
Once a settlement is reached, it is reduced to a writing (formalized), signed by the parties and lodged with the court for approval.
What are the benefits of Collaborative Divorce?
It is often less expensive than traditional divorce. Traditional divorce involves or may involve motions, discovery, depositions, court appearances, subpoena duces tecum, etc.
The process of collaborative divorce is less stressful than traditional divorce. The Rules, Statutes and Judges change all the time. It will impact how your case is handled and or decided. The judicial officers are given deference, it is called judicial discretion. When you understand what that means, collaboration reduces the element of the unknown.
You have more privacy since there are no pleadings, motions, Affidavits of Financial Information filed with the court. The pleadings which also encompass motions may have exhibits attached, such as pictures, text messages. These are available to the public (with the exception of Affidavits of Financial Information).
- Court Involvement
- Formal Discovery
- Court Decides Outcome
- Professionals Optional
- Separate Competing Experts
- Past Focused
- Win At Expense of Other Spouse
- Emotional and Destructive
- Intense Negative Emotions Ignored
- Time Consuming (12+ months)
- Children Potentially Harmed
- Outside of Court
- Voluntary Disclosure
- Client Decides Outcome
- Professionals Essential
- Shared Neutral Experts
- Present and Future Focused
- Create A Win-Win For The Family
- Therapeutic and Restorative
- Intense Negative Emotions Processed
- Quicker (Typically 6 months or less)
- Children Protected, Heard, Primary
Focus of Process
Do I need an attorney for Collaborative Divorce?
The short answer, yes. The Rule that governs collaborative divorce mandates that the family law attorney be trained in collaborative divorce. See Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure 67.1. It is important to remember that this is still a divorce so retaining a collaboratively trained attorney who also has experience in family law provides confidential legal advice, guidance and strategy.
What if only one party wants to utilize Collaborative Divorce?
Both parties must agree to utilize this process, it cannot be forced or mandated.
What happens if we do not come to a full agreement?
The good news is that you may reach partial agreements without going through the litigation process. The reality is that you can agree to move forward with collaboration but it is not a guarantee that you will reach agreements on all issues. Whatever issues remain contested you would need to convert over to a traditional divorce, however, that still does not preclude mediation as an option. It is important to mention that any contested issues that require judicial intervention will be handled with new attorneys. The collaboration attorneys are precluded from moving forward with their respective clients.