Should you be considering a collaborative divorce?

Making the decision to file for divorce can be an upsetting and stressful experience for any person. It can be frightening to think about what will happen once that decision is made. Not only will there be lifestyle and financial changes that need to be made, but people are often anxious that the process of ending a marriage will also involve anger, resentment, frustration and legal battles. For many people, this can be unavoidable.

However, there are couples in New Jersey who decide that they want to take steps to avoid messy, courtroom divorces. This can certainly be difficult, but there are effective solutions for people who are willing and able to pursue a more peaceful divorce through collaboration.

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse has his or her own attorney, but the decisions are made outside of a courtroom. Soon-to-be former couples work together by communicating, negotiating and cooperating to come to solutions on issues including child support and spousal support.

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse has his or her own attorney, but the decisions are made outside of a courtroom. Soon-to-be former couples work together by communicating, negotiating and cooperating to come to solutions on issues including child support and spousal support. In addition to attorneys, spouses also can work with financial planners, counselors and other supporting parties to help them make decisions without having to go to court.

In an effort to encourage the use of collaborative law efforts, the NJ Family Collaborative Law Act was introduced Jan 16th, passed the Assembly June 23rd and passed the Senate June 26th and now awaiting Gov. Christie’s signature. If enacted, the Act will set forth requirements for a “collaborative divorce” including establishes privilege for the professionals involved with the collaborative team and requiring that the attorneys committed to the collaborative representation are disqualified if either client chooses to commence litigation.

While there are many people who cannot work together during the divorce process and must have their cases decided by a court or litigated to conclusion, the collaborative process can be beneficial for a number of reasons in the right situation.

No matter which route couples take when they decide to end their marriage, it can be crucial to discuss the options and possible solutions with an experienced attorney.

Source: CNBC, “Collaborative divorce can ease emotional, economic stress,” Deborah Nason, May 2, 2014

About the Author:

Sarah Jacobs is dedicated to protecting the interests of clients in family law proceedings. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, and Qualified as a Mediator, Sarah possesses close to 15 years of experience practicing law throughout the State of New Jersey. Together with partner Jamie N. Berger, Esq. their boutique Morristown family law firm is managed with the goal of providing high-quality service tailored to each client's individual needs. In her capacity as both a family law mediator and litigator, Sarah works with negotiation-minded clients in a cooperative setting. She is also a skilled litigator with the knowledge needed to take even the most complex cases to court, if necessary.

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