For couples in Arizona who are getting a divorce, there is an alternative to either fighting it out in court or coming to an amicable agreement with one another regarding child custody, property division and any other issues. Couples who are experiencing some conflict but who would still like to try to avoid the stress and expense of going to court may be able to pursue a collaborative divorce.
How it works
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will each have an attorney, and the four of you will meet as you work toward a divorce agreement. In some cases, you might involve other professionals as well, such as a financial professional or a child therapist. You may begin with a temporary agreement for such issues as child custody and spousal support and go from there.
While you may have conflict, you both need to be willing to share information and work toward a solution. Once you have reached an agreement, a judge does have to sign off on it, but this generally is not a time-consuming part of the divorce if you have taken the collaborative approach.
Why pursue a collaborative divorce?
There are people who spend so much money fighting over assets in court that by the time the divorce is final, there are few assets left. A collaborative divorce may save you money. It might also be easier on your children and could preserve a better relationship between you and your spouse to make co-parenting less difficult.
If you are considering divorce, you may want to consult an attorney to talk through your options for alternative dispute resolutions, such as collaborative divorce, as well as other approaches. Your attorney may be able to advise you regarding the best way to proceed based on your personal circumstances. For example, if you suspect that your spouse is trying to hide assets or there are issues with domestic abuse, it might not be possible to avoid litigation.