For those considering collaborative divorce, one of the first questions they often ask is, “How is working with a team of divorce professionals going to save money?” This is a common question because the collaborative process is a team approach. And to most people, that sounds more expensive than the traditional approach. But that often isn’t the case. In fact, the cost of a collaborative divorce is typically only a fraction of the cost of an adversarial litigated divorce.
In a collaborative divorce, each party hires their own attorney but instead of spending time and money working against each other posturing their respective case to win in court, the attorneys provide legal guidance and counseling to assist the parties in finding solutions and negotiating an agreement. Money isn’t wasted on unnecessary pleadings or discovery because all parties commit in writing to full disclosure and cooperation from the start.
In a traditional litigated divorce, each party will typically hire their own professionals to serve as expert witnesses in support of their position. In a collaborative divorce the parties have a team of neutral collaborative professionals working together to find creative solutions and provide the information necessary for the parties to come to informed, mutually beneficial decisions. This way the parties can share the costs of any experts needed to assist with the case.
The collaborative process allows for greater flexibility. Instead of being at the mercy of the court’s calendar, the parties are free to schedule meetings at their convenience. There is no need to wait around the courthouse for hours in order to see the judge. Collaborative meetings are scheduled and everyone’s time is used efficiently.
In addition, when divorce is taken out of the context of litigation, the parties save on court fees and other incidental costs that would be associated with having to go to court. These could include parking fees, childcare, time off work, etc.
Although there are no guarantees and every case is different, collaborative divorce is often the better alternative. It is certainly worth learning more about whether the collaborative process might be an alternative that would work for you.