Divorce proceedings are often characterized as being full of vitriol with each party attempting to get the most assets. There is a different way to approach a divorce that can be amicable and less stressful. It is known as collaborative divorce.

In collaborative divorce, both parties go through mediation and negotiations instead of a courtroom battle. It takes place through collaborative law. Some couples get divorced because there truly are irreconcilable differences. Then, there are couples who simply need to sign their paperwork to make the split official. It is estimated that most couples fall in the middle and have some disputes but need help navigating through the process.

There are cases when the court will guide a couple toward collaborative divorce before attempting to litigate the split in a courtroom. Both parties have to agree to mediation, though. Saving time and money are two benefits of this option. The informal setting, honest exchange of information and handling of post-settlement disputes are three more advantages.

To begin a collaborative divorce, each spouse will hire their own divorce attorney. Each spouse meets with their own attorney first. Then, a four-way meeting is held with both attorneys and spouses. When an agreement is not reached immediately, a license mediator is brought into the fold.

If mediation and negotiation are successful, both parties and their attorneys sign a no-court document. That document is filed with the case, and the divorce paperwork is submitted to the corresponding agency so that everything can be finalized. This process is favored because it allows the couple to end their marriage with less animosity and a conclusion that mostly satisfies both.