In the last 20 years, the collaborative divorce approach has grown tremendously. This process helps parties work out their disputes and end their marriages without having to go to court.
If successful, a collaborative divorce can save a good amount of money since each spouse doesn’t have to necessarily have their own divorce attorney.
Although the benefits of collaborative divorce are well documented, some attorneys warn that the legal and emotional complexities of divorce end up overwhelming many couples. Carolyn Mirabile, a partner at a large family law practice in the mid-Atlantic region, explains:
“People think they’ll save money going through the divorce in a collaborative process, and it’s a big sell for them. But I’ve had clients come here after a collaborate process has failed. They say that they tried working it out, and now they’re starting over, and so they’re spending more money.”
Despite these risks, many couples who feel they can settle their differences and end their marriages amicably choose this option. In fact, the International Academy of Collaborative Professional evaluated 933 cases and found that 80% of collaborative divorce cases settled in a year.
Some states like New Jersey are starting to require divorcing couples go through the collaborative route first.