Collaborative Divorce vs. Litigation: How Are They Different?

Divorce may seem like a process with only one route: a lengthy and contentious court battle involving lawyers, a judge, and a trial. However, divorcing couples have numerous available approaches, and determining which is best depends on their level of comfort with working together toward a resolution.

Below is a comparison of collaborative divorce and litigated divorce – two very different approaches.

What is Litigated Divorce?

If a couple cannot agree on the terms of their divorce – or agree to get divorced in the first place – their divorce is considered “contested.” In these cases, both spouses retain legal counsel and go to court before a judge. The court will hear the evidence and testimonies presented, resolve any issues, and announce the terms of the final arrangement.

Litigation might be necessary for a divorcing couple that is not communicating or is otherwise unable to solve problems maturely and jointly. If at least one of the spouses is acting dishonestly or in bad faith, or if there a history of intimidation or abuse in the relationship, working out the terms of the divorce before a judge may be necessary.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a solution-focused approach that allows spouses to avoid going to trial. This method focuses on working together to achieve the best outcome for both parties. There are numerous benefits to collaborative divorce. Unlike divorce involving a trial, a collaborative divorce approach allows couples to quickly reach and file an effective agreement. Couples who choose collaborative divorce can also do the following:

  • Ensure both spouses have an opportunity to share their points-of-view
  • Solve problems jointly
  • Restructure and preserve a future relationship as co-parents
  • Reduce stress on their family
  • Prevent a public court hearing

Collaborative divorce is also often less expensive than litigated divorce. When spouses come up with an agreement together, they can avoid court fees and other expenses associated with litigated divorce.

Doing What’s Right for You

If you have decided to get divorced, the first step is to review all your options. If you have questions or concerns about the methods available to you, we can help. Contact Bort Law today for assistance.

Categories: Family Law