You may head into a divorce case in California expecting it to be a long, arduous and expensive process. You may not know, however, that it doesn’t have to be. If you and your partner can cooperate on a collaborative divorce process, you can both save considerable time, money and stress. Learn more about collaborative divorce to explore this option for your dissolution of marriage in San Diego.
Are Collaborative Divorces Easier Compared to Contested Divorce?
In many ways, yes, a collaborative divorce is easier than a contested divorce. Achieving a collaborative divorce – also called an uncontested divorce – means that you and your ex-spouse can communicate, effectively negotiate the terms of your divorce and come to a settlement agreement. You will create the terms of your divorce on your own, without court intervention. This allows you to resolve the dispute without a family law trial.
In general, a contested divorce that goes to trial is more expensive, stressful and emotionally fraught than reaching a settlement with your ex. If you find the idea of collaborating with your ex more difficult than handing the case over to a judge, however, collaborative divorce might not be the right option for you. If your case involves domestic violence, for example, you may not be willing or able to discuss the divorce case with your ex.
What Are the Advantages of a Collaborative Divorce?
If you are able to communicate and collaborate with your ex, you can enjoy several benefits compared to a contested divorce in San Diego. Although a dissolution of marriage is messy and can take an emotional toll on a family no matter what, an uncontested divorce minimizes the struggle involved. It eliminates the need for your family to go to trial – ultimately creating a faster, smoother and less emotionally taxing experience for everyone. The advantages of a collaborative divorce in California include:
- A win-win instead of a win-lose. A collaborative divorce can end in a settlement agreement that has wins for both parties. You may be able to share custody and divide your property in a way that makes both you and your ex happy, for example. A contested divorce that goes to trial is more likely to end in a court decision that feels like a loss for one of the parties.
- A faster and cheaper legal process. Going to trial will always cost more money and take more time than reaching a divorce settlement. A contested divorce that goes to trial requires a discovery phase, which could take several months. You will also have to spend more money on attorney’s fees and court costs than in a collaborative divorce.
- Less stress for everyone. A collaborative divorce keeps you and your ex in control of the outcome of your divorce settlement agreement. It also keeps the settlement private. If your case goes to trial, on the other hand, it can be harder on everyone. A contested divorce is more likely to involve fights and court battles, which can take a mental and emotional toll on you, your ex and your children.
Many states require couples to at least attempt a collaborative divorce using tools such as mediation before the case proceeds to court. You may be able to improve the odds of a collaborative divorce by working with an attorney who can help you come up with dispute resolutions, hiring a mediator to facilitate compromises and considering divorce alternatives such as legal separation. You are also more likely to achieve a collaborative divorce, in general, if it is a simple case without children and complex marital assets.
For more information about a collaborative or uncontested divorce, contact a divorce attorney in San Diego at Boyd Law to request a consultation