PLM Family Law

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How collaborative divorce works

Some couples’ divorce proceedings in North Dakota turn into long court battles with each party trying to get what they feel they deserve. Other couples settle their issues out of court via a collaborative divorce, only needing help with the documents. Couples who disagree on everything can still seek a collaborative divorce.

What the process entails

In a collaborative divorce, both parties use outside help to reach a fair agreement. The attorneys meet with each spouse to give advice, and then the couples meet with the lawyers together. In some cases, other professionals may be present, such as accountants, real estate brokers and child custody experts.

Each party and the lawyers will likely meet several times. During these meetings, both parties must willingly disclose their financial information, such as salaries and tax returns. Hiding assets may result in the case being reopened.

The attorney may sign a document called a no-court agreement to remove him or herself from the case if it goes to court. The same attorney usually will not represent the party in court in these situations, so the spouses will need to hire new lawyers. If an agreement has been reached, couples usually need to have papers signed in family court.

Benefits of collaborative divorce

This kind of divorce features many advantages. It helps an agreement to be reached that suits both parties, temporarily stabilizes the situation, and reduces expenses. Collaborative divorce allows a couple to communicate voluntarily and make post-divorce arrangements. It keeps the legal process simple and limits contact. Collaborative divorce also reduces the stress on children.

Collaborative divorce is an option for any couple who wishes to make the process easier. It is essential to find a divorce attorney who knows how to navigate this option to keep a couple out of court.