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Questions Collaborative Divorce

1. What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a process where the parties each retain an attorney to start a dissolution of their marriage.  The parties and the attorneys both agree, and sign a contract, that if the case does not settle, the parties must retain new counsel to proceed with a court action.  This requires that the parties and attorneys commit to working through the issues presented in a divorce without resorting to litigation.

2. How does collaborative divorce work?

The parties and counsel meet to establish areas of agreement and disagreement on issues of property division, support and child custody.  They may decide to retain joint experts to perform specific tasks, like a child custody evaluation to determine a custody schedule in the best interests of the minor children, or a forensic accountant to do a business valuation to determine the value of a community property business or the community property interest in a separate property business.  Collaborative lawyers support compromise and settlement.

All of the work is done jointly, in an effort to reach agreement on the issues.  If an impasse is reached, the parties try to problem solve with the help of experts.

3. Is collaborative divorce expensive?

It is usually less expensive to resolve a dissolution case through collaborative divorce than through litigation.  Collaborative divorce can take some time, as it is process where the parties usually reach agreement over time with the help of the divorce professionals, including experts who are frequently brought in early in the process.

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