Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

Is a collaborative divorce the right option for me?

You are facing a divorce, but one thing you do not want to face is a divorce that is time-consuming, costly and contentious. You might consider options other than traditional litigation, including uncontested divorce. Collaborative law is an uncontested divorce method that is gaining in popularity among Californians.

Like mediation, a collaborative divorce helps splitting couples avoid the courtroom and address their disputes in a reasonable and cooperative way. However, unlike mediation, you and your spouse will have your own attorneys in a collaborative divorce. According to the American Bar Association, collaborative law can be an especially effective option if you have complex property division matters, such as assets from a business or numerous retirement and investment accounts. You might also find this option preferable if you both want equal parenting and decision-making responsibilities, and wish to negotiate your differences instead of contest them.

In a collaborative divorce, you, your spouse and your attorneys will sign an agreement not to litigate. If you cannot reach an agreement without the family court’s intervention, your attorneys will be required to resign, and you must find new legal counsel. This gives everyone involved an incentive to work toward a solution and not give up easily. To achieve these ends, you may involve additional professionals in the process, including financial advisors and therapists.

Everyone’s situation is different, so you should research your options thoroughly before deciding how to proceed with your divorce. The information in this blog is meant to educate you on the topic of collaborative law, but should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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  • SCBA | Santa Clara County Bar Association | EST 1917
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization | Stephen W. Penn
  • Henry P. Collada Memorial Award 2012