If you and your spouse can work amicably together to discuss the terms of your divorce settlement, you could be candidates for a collaborative divorce. In a collaborative divorce, the couple and their individual lawyers work together to create a divorce settlement without involving the court. Generally, this makes the divorce process easier, less expensive, and less time-consuming for all parties involved.
Before your first meeting with a collaborative divorce lawyer, work with your spouse to prepare for the process. Below are a few ways you can prepare yourselves for your collaborative divorce to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.
Identify your Goals
You might not have thought much about your goals for the divorce other than wanting to end your marriage. Take time to reflect on what you want from the divorce, such as a specific share of your marital assets. By identifying your goals before you start negotiations, you will be better equipped to advocate for them.
Discuss your Goals with your Spouse
Communicate with your spouse about your goals for the divorce. You might feel strongly about remaining in your marital home and he or she might feel strongly about retaining other assets. Identify the issues each feels most strongly about and where you are willing to compromise to allow both parties to reach their goals.
Have All your Updated Documents Ready
These documents include the title to your home, statements for bank and investment accounts, documentation of your current assets and income, and an itemized list of all your debts. You will need these documents to fairly divide your assets in your divorce.
Understand the Collaborative Divorce Process
Although you and your spouse will work together in your collaborative divorce, you will need to each retain your own lawyer. This is because despite working toward similar goals, you each have unique needs and you both have rights as individuals.
Your lawyer’s role is to be your advocate through this process and ensure that your rights are not violated. He or she can also help you understand the legal jargon you encounter during the divorce process and explain the pros and cons of potential choices you and your spouse make about your divorce settlement. Your lawyer may also draw upon his or her professional network to bring in outside parties to aid in your divorce, such as a real estate appraiser to value your home in order to divide its value equitably.
Working with a lawyer can also ensure that your paperwork is properly notarized and filed with the court.
Work with an Experienced Winter Park Divorce Lawyer
A collaborative divorce can be a liberating experience for a divorcing couple. If you and your spouse determine that collaboration is the way to go with your divorce, contact an experienced Winter Park collaborative divorce lawyer to move forward with the process. Contact Aubrey Law today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.