White Plains Collaborative Divorce and Family Law Attorney
Supporting Innovative and Productive Solutions for Divorce Without War
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Divorce is a traumatic and life-changing event for all parties involved. However, divorce does not have to be confrontational and antagonistic. There are divorce options that allow you and your spouse to dissolve your marriage while minimizing the personal, emotional and financial difficulties often seen in the lengthy, complicated and frequently acrimonious process of a contested New York divorce.
Two of these alternative options to litigation are collaborative divorce and divorce mediation. Collaborative divorce is a structured process involving the voluntary, cooperative participation of both spouses and their respective attorneys in order to arrive at a mutually beneficial, satisfactory and agreeable divorce settlement without having to litigate in court.
What are the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in New York?
The focus of collaborative divorce is on open communication, cooperation and compromise, aiming to avoid the high level of conflict that can accompany a litigated divorce.
In working with our White Plains collaborative divorce lawyer, clients tend to experience:
- Less stress, as the process emphasizes cooperation over litigation.
- Lower cost due to few, if any, court appearances, nearly eliminating legal preparation for court hearings and the accompanying need for motions, briefs and depositions, for example.
- A shortened process toward finalization of their divorce, as the parties meet frequently on their own schedules, rather than that of the busy and often very backlogged court.
- More contribution to and control over the process itself, as each party has a respected voice. The parties involved decide the terms of their settlement, not the court.
- Litigated divorces take place in open court and those proceedings become part of the court’s written record. Collaborative divorces take place in private sessions.
- Less emotional damage to themselves and their children, by working to avoid the hostility and obstacles of litigated divorce. This is particularly valuable if the spouses will be co-parenting children after the divorce is finalized.
What are the Basic Steps in a Collaborative Divorce in New York State?
While there may be variations in each individual case, the collaborative divorce process generally develops according to the following steps:
- One or possibly both spouses express interest in collaborative divorce and seek out their own qualified attorneys to initiate the process. Both parties must agree to enter into the collaborative divorce process for it to move forward.
- Each spouse first holds private meetings with their respective attorneys to discuss and decide their most important issues, interests and goals, and the strategies to achieve those through the collaborative process.
- The spouses agree to work cooperatively on their divorce and commit in writing to reaching fair agreements, settling their differences without litigation or interference of the court.
- Both parties and their respective attorneys meet at regular intervals to reach mutually agreeable decisions on the various aspects of their divorce settlement. These aspects can include property distribution, child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support arrangements, among others.
- Once both parties have reached agreement on terms of their divorce, the attorneys will formalize a binding written agreement for signature by both parties. This documentation is then filed with the court for approval and to finalize the divorce.
Collaborative divorce offers couples the option of a lower cost, lower stress, court-free, minimum conflict process that can allow each spouse a quicker and healthier transition into their new reality. If you think that collaborative divorce may serve as the optimal solution for you and your family, please call our office for a free initial 15 minute consultation at 914-821-5200 or use our online Contact Form. Our office is conveniently located in downtown White Plains.
Westchester County Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Karen M. Jansen serves clients in White Plains, Yonkers, New Rochelle and throughout Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess and Bronx Counties, New York City and all New York State communities.