Collaborative Divorce

Howard County Family Law Attorney

Going through a divorce is a traumatic experience (emotionally, mentally, physically...) for everyone involved. Having Cary on my team made it easier. I must have called her a 1,000 times and asked the same questions in multiple ways. No matter the case Cary never displayed frustration or annoyance with me. She always took the time to call me back and put me at ease. I would recommend Cary for any situation; she's professional, thorough, compassionate, and knowledgeable. You need Cary on your team!

Are you looking for a less stressful and adversarial way to divorce that does not include fighting in court? Then, you should consider collaborative divorce.

Collaborative Divorce is a process that allows you and your spouse to negotiate the terms of your own divorce with minimal court involvement. In fact, a central feature of the Collaborative process is that you, your spouse, and your Collaborative team must sign a participation agreement that requires you to keep matters out of Court. The participation agreement requires transparency so that you and your spouse are free to communicate openly throughout the Collaborative process, knowing that nothing you say will be used against you in Court.

In regular meetings with your Collaborative team, you and your spouse have the opportunity to identify shared interests and goals, and brainstorm options to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Not only is Collaborative often less expensive and stressful than litigation, it also provides a framework for resolving disputes and building positive momentum for the future.

Schedule an appointment today for your initial consultation to discuss your Collaborative Divorce today.
collaborative divorce lawyer - jacobson family law - Maryland - cary jacobson

Divorce is an emotional, financial and legal process.

In Collaborative, you and your spouse will be represented and supported by your attorneys throughout the process. Depending on your family’s needs, various other professionals are available to help as part of your Collaborative team, including financial neutrals, who helps evaluate your financial situation, needs, and options; divorce coaches, who address emotional issues particular to the divorce process; and child specialists that help evaluate the developmental needs of your children and resolve co-parenting challenges. Your Collaborative team adds value to the divorce process by allowing you and your spouse to have the benefit of attorneys, as well as a highly qualified, skill-specific team to address all aspects of your divorce.

Divorce is an emotional, financial and legal process.

In Collaborative, you and your spouse will be represented and supported by your attorneys throughout the process. Depending on your family’s needs, various other professionals are available to help as part of your Collaborative team, including financial neutrals, who helps evaluate your financial situation, needs, and options; divorce coaches, who address emotional issues particular to the divorce process; and child specialists that help evaluate the developmental needs of your children and resolve co-parenting challenges. Your Collaborative team adds value to the divorce process by allowing you and your spouse to have the benefit of attorneys, as well as a highly qualified, skill-specific team to address all aspects of your divorce.

Schedule an appointment today for your initial consultation to discuss your Collaborative Divorce today.

FAQs

What is a Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is a process for separating or divorcing that allows parties to justly and equitably resolve their differences and avoids the necessity of going to court.

Collaborative Divorce is designed to resolve the issues in a family breakup using cooperative strategies rather than conflict and litigation. The process is open and mutually respectful. There must be full disclosure and good faith. If needed, jointly selected experts such as child specialist and financial planners are enlisted to assist in finding solutions which focus on the needs of the children and the financial well-being of all involved.

Do I need an attorney to represent me if I select the Collaborative Divorce process?

Yes. You will need to be represented by an attorney and an attorney will also represent your spouse. The parties are direct participants in the outcome, with legal advice and support from their attorneys to assist them.
Under the Collaborative Divorce process, both parties and their attorneys agree to promote an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity and professionalism.

Why is the Collaborative Divorce process different than other methods to resolve a divorce?

The Collaborative Divorce process is designed to empower the clients to create agreements that address their unique circumstances and concerns. The objective is to produce results that are more productive than those received from a court in the adversarial process. The goal is to enable parties to reach a fair and reasonable settlement that addresses and meets the needs of both parties. Collaborative Divorce requires each party and each attorney to take a reasoned position on all issues. Where such positions differ, all participants use their best efforts to create proposals that meet the fundamental needs of both parties and, if necessary, to compromise to reach a settlement of all issues.

How do I know if I am eligible for a collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce is not for everyone. However, it is a good option for those:

  • Couples who are seeking to restructure their families in a way that protects their children, offering their children the best chance to experience the benefits of BOTH parents in an environment of mutual respect and support.
  • Couples looking for better communication between them and an opportunity to effectively co-parent.
  • Looking for a civil, rational result
  • That want an agreement that gives BOTH spouses as much as possible without hurting the other
  • Seeking protection from the emotional and psychological damage to children and to each other often caused by contentious and protracted litigation

What are the benefits of collaborative divorce?

There are many benefits of collaborative divorce. Here are some examples:

  • Informal setting
  • Information exchange is free, open, informal, and honest
  • Saves time
  • Saves money
  • You can decide now how to handle post-settlement disputes
  • You negotiate a result that works for you and your family
  • Use of professionals, such as child specialists, financial analysts and attorneys, to assist in supporting you through the collaborative divorce process

How much does collaborative divorce cost?

The cost of collaborative divorce varies from case to case. The greatest cost difference between a collaborative divorce and a divorce in court is that the collaborative process facilitates communication between the parties to minimize conflict and produce a forward-looking, durable agreement that meets the needs of all parties. In court, decisions are made by a single judge which often leaves one party or both feeling that they were not heard and dissatisfied with the outcome. As a result, couples who resort to court tend to return to court repeatedly, seeking to obtain “better” outcomes at greater emotional and financial cost.

How does a collaborative divorce differ from mediation?

Both parties and their respective collaborative divorce attorneys sign a contract that states they are committed to using cooperative techniques instead of combative tactics to negotiate the various divorce issues. The contract is called a “participation agreement”.
Another difference is that in Collaborative Law, the parties are always represented by their collaborative divorce attorneys and therefore, always have the benefit of legal counsel and having a zealous advocate. In mediation, often the parties are not represented by lawyers and are negotiating without the benefit of legal counsel or representation.

Collaborative Divorce is an ongoing process, while mediation is often a one or two day event.

Collaborative Divorce requires that the parties exchange all necessary and relevant information during the process. Mediation, on the other hand, has no specific vehicle for discovery. Therefore, mediation can suffer from either not providing the parties with enough information to make informed decisions as to the settlement, or coming after too much discovery has taken place through litigation.

What happens if the collaborative divorce process becomes contested?

If in the unlikely event that parties are unable to reach an agreement in the collaborative divorce process, each of the parties will be required to hire new attorneys for litigation in court.

How do I get started in the Collaborative Divorce process?

Schedule an appointment with Jacobson Family Law and an attorney will discuss in further detail whether the Collaborative Divorce process may be appropriate for your case and answer any specific questions that you may have. This will give you the opportunity and information to decide whether the Collaborative Divorce process is right for you.

Learn More About What We Can Do For You.

Jacobson Family Law serves clients across Annapolis, Columbia, Ellicott City, Towson, Owings Mills, Baltimore, and Frederick. To speak to an attorney, call 443-917-1517 or schedule an appointment.