Coming Out Ahead in the End
Rather than focusing on positions and entitlements, Collaborative Divorce professionals help the parties focus on individual and mutual interests that help guide decisions to establish a solid foundation for life after separation.
To start a Collaborative Divorce process, you must first select a qualified lawyer. Rahul Aggarwal is an experienced Collaborative lawyer and would be happy to speak with you about your situation. Rahul can consult with both you and your spouse to determine whether you would like to enter into mediation. If after consulting with Rahul you decide that Collaborative Divorce is a better solution for your situation, it is important that your spouse also seek a qualified Collaborative Divorce lawyer.
Once the team is selected, you, your spouse, and your individual lawyers will need to meet and set rules, goals, and expectations with each other. At this first Kitchen Table discussion, all parties, including the lawyers, will sign a participation agreement, which is essential to the Collaborative Divorce process. Other collaborative professionals, such as child specialists, divorce coaches, and financial specialists, may assist you and your spouse throughout the process, depending on your particular circumstances.
After the initial four-way meeting, you and your spouse will need to gather pertinent documents and information for the next four-way meeting with your collaborative team. Typically, a few four-way meetings will be required to systematically go through all important issues that need to be resolved between you and your spouse. All parties will work toward a mutual agreement. Throughout the whole process, collaborative professionals, lawyers, you, and your spouse prioritize making sure that the children’s best interests are foremost in all discussions and agreements.
The parties will discuss all issues at the four-way meetings, but we will also brainstorm creative solutions that will work for everyone involved, while remaining inside the boundaries of the law. After discussing and resolving all issues, the lawyers draft a Separation Agreement to be reviewed by you and your spouse. If necessary, another meeting of your collaborative team can be held to discuss points of interest before you and your spouse sign the agreement. Continuing to work in harmony and with respect, the revisions are drafted.
Once you and your spouse have agreed on the terms that would form part of the agreement, one of the lawyers will initiate a draft agreement to be reviewed by you and your spouse, and the other lawyer. After any necessary revisions are made and everyone has reviewed the draft agreement, both parties meet with their respective lawyers to sign and finalize the separation agreement. Once the agreement is approved and signed by you and your former spouse, court paperwork can be addressed. As life goes on, if issues arise, they should be addressed by the team.
- Participation Agreement The first step toward Collaborative Divorce is you and your spouse signing a participation agreement. This document says that you both intend to secure a no-court divorce by communicating honestly, providing information as needed, each hiring a Collaborative Divorce attorney, and to honor privacy by keeping negotiations confidential throughout the process. Download a PDF of a participation agreement here.
- Kitchen Table The phrase “kitchen table” refers to the concept of an old-fashioned family meeting around a table, in the home. In Collaborative Divorce or separation, a kitchen table meeting involves both members of the couple, as well as the lawyers. In some cases, other team members, such as coaches, financial specialists, and children specialists my join a kitchen table meeting. Rarely, if ever, are children involved in these meetings.
- Collaborative Divorce As a branch of collaborative family law, a Collaborative Divorce or separation is an out-of-court settlement between two members of a couple that is legally married or has a common-law partnership. The benefits of Collaborative Divorce include, but are not limited to: reduced stress on children and both members of the couple, reduced cost, simplicity, and control.
- Separation Agreement This document basically outlines expectations regarding to property, children, and responsibilities. Of course, the participation agreement should only address separation issues once a couple has decided to separate. Issues like child support, childcare, and financial support must be considered at or after separation.
Call Clean Divorce Today!
Want to discuss divorce or separation with an experienced family law lawyer? Have questions about mediation and Collaborative Divorce? CALL NOW for a FREE 20 minute initial consultation. Rahul can answer all of your questions and equip you with the information you need to make wise decisions for your life, your children, and your finances.
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