What is divorce?
A divorce is a civil action to terminate a marriage. It is
also called dissolution of marriage.
Common methods used for divorce
Collaborative divorce is a method of handling all divorce
related issues including dissolving the marriage itself,
dividing properties, and handling issues related to
children, outside the court system. It requires a specially
trained team of professionals such as lawyers, mental health
professionals, and financial professionals (appraisers,
accountants, and/or custody evaluators) which gears up to
help a couple understand what’s the major issue to solve and
create durable solution that will work for every member of
the family after the divorce. The voluntary process is
initiated when the couple signs the Participation Agreement
that participants won’t bring any matters to the court, or
even threaten to, as long as the collaborative process
continues. When the process breaks down, a couple may bring
the issue to the court and have a judge resolve them, but
any lawyer can be accompanied.
(Source: Pauline H. Tesler)
Adversarial divorce uses a court proceeding to dissolve a
marriage as the participants are adversarial and unable to
agree on the terms of divorce. The common areas of
disagreement include grounds for divorce, custody of
children, asset distribution, maintenance (alimony), and
etc. During adversarial divorce, the judge grants the
divorce and makes decisions about the disagreement between
participants. Based on statistics, large numbers of
participants are not satisfied or pleased with the judge’s
Advantage of Collaborative Divorce
You and your spouse make the decisions, not a judge or
In a Collaborative Divorce, a couple makes the decisions
through negotiation themselves unlike a judge resolving the
divorce issues in litigation. While you and your spouse make
decisions, the lawyers and other professionals on the team
help you to gather the information, hear one another’s
concerns, and consider wide range of options and
consequences. Nothing is agreed to unless you are partner
think it’s an acceptable solution. Lawyers don’t tell you
how the issue should be resolved, but you and your partner
figure out how it can be resolved, and it’s done
respectively according to your own interests, concerns,
needs, priorities, and values.
However, in litigation, the lawyers are in charge of
resolving the divorce issue. When you bring in the issue,
lawyers will handle the case the way they are trained to,
and it will most likely lead to court where a judge resolve
the issue, and you have no obligation to disagree.
Efficient in Welfare Distribution
Under Collaborative Divorce, you and your partner distribute
the welfares like properties, funds, and cashes by yourself.
Unlike litigation, which a judge distribute your welfares
without concerning priorities or needs, you and your partner
can negotiate the distribution based your needs and
priorities. In that case, you are distributing your welfare
Cheaper Cost of Process
Divorce through Collaborative method cost less than divorce
through litigation since collaborative method avoids the
multitude of steps, fees, and court costs. For instance, the
lawyers will charge you less since they won’t charge for
various documents, attendance at the court under
collaborative divorce method.
Less Emotional Damage among families
The collaborative approach helps every member in a family
come through the divorce with the least amount of trauma and
distress. Since the parents aren’t fighting, the children
Disadvantage of Adversarial Divorce
Although adversarial divorce is sometimes a necessity, it
carries some huge disadvantages.
Enormous cost of the legal fees
Each party will be billed a huge amounts every time the
lawyer spends time working on the case. Participants are
billable for lawyer’s time spent on hearing, filing motions
for disclosure of information, taking depositions and
appearing at court proceedings. These fees often add up to
thousands of dollars for an adversarial divorce.
Long processing time
It takes much more time than a typical uncontested divorce.
The parties have to wait for a court date, and it take time
to present their cases. If there is a problem, their case
may need to be continued. Unlike typical divorces,
participants have no control on the length of the process.
The anger and frustration created from an adversarial
divorce can ruin the emotion between the parties even worse.
It is like adding fuel to the fire to an already strained
relationship. For instance, testifying against your partner
and hearing what your spouse says about you in order to win
often leads to permanent separation between parties’
(Source: Rocky Mountain Collaborative Law Professionals)