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When you get a divorce in Los Angeles you are required to make important decisions about complicated aspects of your life. Many times, these decisions require insight and knowledge that you just don’t have. This situation can become more stressful when you and your spouse cannot agree to the terms of your divorce. If you are having difficulty negotiating the complicated details of your divorce, but want to avoid going to court, a collaborative agreement may be right for you. Contact the Los Angeles collaborative divorce attorneys at Berenji & Associates to learn more.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation, except that you and your spouse must be represented by attorneys during the process. In mediation proceedings, you have the option to work out your issues without an attorney present. This can be a great option when the issues in your divorce are not overly complicated or if it is likely that you and your spouse will meet halfway. However, when issues are complicated and/or finding middle ground may be tough, having attorneys involved in the process can be beneficial.

In order to initiate a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will have to agree to commit to the process. Each spouse must sign a contract which acknowledges that they consent to:

  1. Use the collaborative divorce proceedings to finalize their divorce; and
  2. Not to take the case to court.

Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce can be a great choice for divorcing couples in Los Angeles who need help finalizing their divorce. Many couples choose to use the collaborative divorce process because:

  • It is a happy medium between mediation and litigation;
  • It is less expensive than litigating their divorce in court;
  • Both spouses maintain control over the situation;
  • Agreements reached in a collaborative can be flexible to address the needs of both spouses;
  • Spouses can be represented by attorneys and experts who can help to navigate complicated legal issues; and
  • The process is less stressful than litigation for families with children.

Collaborative Divorce Process

The collaborative divorce process begins when you and your spouse make the joint decision to use the alternative dispute resolution process. Here is what to expect once you have made this important decision.

Choosing Collaborative Divorce Attorneys. You and your spouse will each choose Los Angeles collaborative divorce attorneys to represent you during this process. Your attorney will fight to achieve your specific goals in the divorce. Your attorney will also use experts, including accountants, child custody specialists, and psychologists, to support your arguments and goals.

Binding Agreement to Use Collaborative Divorce. You, your spouse, and your attorneys will all be required to sign a legally-binding contract to commit to the collaborative divorce process. This generally requires each party (and your attorneys) to confirm that they will not take the case to court. This agreement also requires each party to be honest, transparent, and forthcoming during the proceedings. You will be required to present any evidence, records, and information that are relevant to your case.

Individual Meetings. You will meet with your attorney individually to discuss strategy, review evidence and testimony, and decide which issues are most important to you. Collaborative divorce will require some compromise, so it is important to prioritize the issues in your case and determine which are most important to you.

Joint Meetings. You and your attorney will meet with your spouse and their legal team to discuss the issues in your divorce. The attorneys will present legal arguments designed to achieve the best outcome for their client. If it is necessary, the attorneys may bring in specialists to help the process along. These specialists can offer insight into a case to help spouses come to mutually-agreeable terms.

Negotiation and Settlement. The goal of your collaborative divorce is to come to mutually-agreeable decisions about important issues in your divorce. You can use this process to hammer out details about asset division, spousal support, child support, and/or child custody arrangements. Once you and your spouse have agreed to the terms of your divorce the attorneys will draft a document for you to sign. This document will lay out the decisions that you have made in this collaborative divorce and, when you sign it, will be binding.

Litigation (If Necessary). Sometimes spouses cannot agree on all of the terms of a divorce using the collaborative divorce process. If it is clear that no decision will be made the spouses can agree to take the case to court. However, the attorney you used in the collaborative process will be required to withdraw from the case. You must find new representation before proceeding to court. This can be incredibly time-consuming, stressful, and costly. If you commit to the collaborative divorce process it is important to do everything in your power to follow through.

Los Angeles Collaborative Divorce Attorneys

If you are having trouble finalizing the details of your divorce, but want to avoid the time, stress, and expense of court, the collaborative divorce process may be right for you. A collaborative divorce is a great way to resolve your divorce in a fair and respectful environment. Contact the Los Angeles collaborative divorce attorneys at Berenji & Associates today for information about how we can help you achieve the results you want using collaborative divorce.

With more than 20 years of combined legal experience, we and have extensive experience handling complex collaborative divorce matters. We are confident that we can help you achieve your desired outcome in your divorce, so do not hesitate to call us today. We offer a free consultation and would be happy to answer any questions you have.