Divorces are unpleasant. Couples who once loved each other and promised to stand by each other through thick and thin suddenly find themselves fighting over the kids, their property, and everything else. The story is the same for families in Utah as it is for families across the country – traditional divorce through the courts is a messy, heartbreaking event.
A new form of working toward divorce is gaining popularity in the legal field. Termed “collaborative divorce,” the new process involves a separating couple working together in a mutually beneficial, civil manner to achieve a peaceful resolution to child custody, support, and division of marital property issues. One of the major benefits of collaborative divorce is that it can cost significantly less than a traditional divorce, leaving more shared resources left over for each former spouse to retain.
Family law experts caution, however, that collaborative divorce is not for everyone and that not all lawyers who purport to engage in collaborative divorces are actually prepared to manage their clients in a collaborative, non-combative manner. While some couples find success in collaborative divorces, others cannot find resolution working together and must eventually go to court to settle their disagreements.
For those couples who are able to put their differences aside long enough to make responsible, cooperative decisions about their shared wealth, greater satisfaction with marital asset division may be achieved. For example, when couples are able to rationally describe why particular pieces of property or financial accounts should go to a particular person and both agree, there is a chance that fewer problems will result later on after the divorce is finalized.
Though no divorce is easy, collaborative divorce can benefit some couples who are willing to put in the work to make the process as respectful as possible. In terms of money and dividing marital assets, collaborative divorce might be a good way for separating spouses to make peace with what they are losing in light of acknowledging that which they are able to retain.