Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce

In New York, Collaborative Divorce is a type of dispute resolution which is relatively recent. In this process, the spouses are each represented by a lawyer in the traditional client-attorney relationship. The spouses make the commitment not to go to court and litigate their matrimonial issues. Using this more amicable approach, spouses and their respective collaborating attorneys are obligated to work out an agreement which is negotiated outside of the adversarial atmosphere of the court. This approach is offered as a divorce option by matrimonial attorney Ingrid Gherman to clients seeking to circumvent traditional courtroom trials which are often long and expensive. To discuss how this or other options might apply in your case, you can arrange a consultation with Ingrid at (212) 941-0767 or sending the inquiry-form.

A Middle Ground between Litigation and Mediation

The collaborative approach is similar to the divorce mediation process, except that in the collaborative divorce, each spouse retains a separate attorney; the parties and their respective attorneys then collaborate between them in an effort to reach an amicable settlement.

Divorce collaboration is the middle ground between mediation and full adversarial litigation. In mediation, the parties meet with a neutral mediator and the husband and the wife advocate for themselves while often using the services of his and her respective attorneys outside the mediation sessions. The neutral mediator cannot give any party legal advice or assist either the husband or the wife in advocating their positions.

Voluntary Financial Disclosure

Financial disclosure in a New York collaborative divorce uses less formal means including the voluntary assembly of financial documentation; for example, copies of income tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements and business financial documents. The husband and the wife agree to bring these documents to the four-way conferences, and, when needed, the parties can also request expert professionals such as financial planners, family counselors, and accountants to participate in the collaborative 4-way meetings. Collaborative lawyering requires everyone’s commitment to the "no court" process. The attorneys representing the parties’ in the collaborative process are not permitted to serve as litigation attorneys on behalf of their respective clients.

A Team Atmosphere

Collaborative divorce helps to foster a team environment contrasted to the adversarial tone of the courtroom. In collaborative divorce, unlike arbitration and mediation, the client is provided with a legal advocate who is trained in the process, without having to incur the ever increasing court costs and counsel fees.

This approach will keep divorce civil, cooperative, and can even speed up the process, since the spouses are not required to abide by the schedule of the court. Another benefit to choosing collaboration is that the wife and husband have greater success in complying with the terms of their agreement because they demonstrated each other that she and he are able to work together on that agreement.

Get help with a collaborative divorce

In the collaborative setting in New York, each spouse is fully represented by a competent attorney protecting their interests. Ingrid Gherman, a family law attorney with deep experience in all aspects of matrimonial law and the options offered within it, can work with you on a collaborative divorce if that is your choice and will work in your case. She will prepare the necessary paperwork and attend the requisite Supreme Court hearing to present the divorce agreement for approval. To find out more about this option and others for you matrimonial problem, contact the law office of Ingrid Gherman at (212) 941-0767 or send the on-line form.