Is collaborative divorce a solution for you?
At TEN Advocaten we have a collaborative divorce lawyer: Anouk van Eijkeren. During the divorce process, Anouk has always been concerned with finding a sustainable solution for the parties in joint consultation. This is why the training to become a collaborative divorce lawyer suits her so well. Anouk is happy to explain below what a collaborative divorce exactly entails.
What is a collaborative divorce?
In a collaborative divorce, both parties (the partners) have their own lawyer. The lawyer informs and advises his client and, of course, assists his client in the negotiations. Subsequently joint discussions take place. These discussions take place under the supervision of a coach/process supervisor who ensures that the process runs smoothly and that the emotions are properly managed. During the process, the two parties, the two lawyers and, in any event, the coach, are involved. They really work together as a team. Financial advisers may also be called in. The financial advisor and the coach/process supervisor are called in by both parties and are for their joint account. All meetings are well prepared and discussed afterwards so that matters can be discussed and agreed as optimally as possible.
For whom is a collaborative divorce suitable?
A collaborative divorce is particularly suitable for reaching a satisfactory settlement when there are major differences between the parties in terms of emotions, knowledge and/or processing. For example, if one or more of the partners are an entrepreneur or if emotions are running high and the parties would like to avoid the situation turning very ugly. Even if there are considerable assets involved, it is wise to use the collaborative divorce process to settle matters properly; after all, a financial advisor can be called in for both parties.
How does the collaborative divorce process work?
Various experts are involved in the collaborative divorce process. These experts work in a team. The goal of all team members is to achieve and arrange a sustainable divorce for the parties. Trust and full openness are of great importance in this process and form the starting point. There is plenty of scope for customised solutions and it is also an optimum opportunity to manage all the consequences of the divorce, not just the legal ones. This means that in a collaborative divorce, the team helps parties to bear the decision to separate together and to properly arrange the divorce. It also ensures that not only the legal matters, but also the practical matters are well taken care of during the process. In addition, the relationship is brought to a good close so that the parties (especially if there are children involved) can communicate properly in the future. The goal is really to create a sustainable solution on all fronts, not only on the legal level.
During the collaborative divorce process, a number of meetings are planned in which at least five people sit around the table, namely both parties and their own lawyer and the coach/process supervisor. Prior to each meeting, these meetings are prepared between the lawyers and the client, but also by the team, i.e. the two lawyers and the process supervisor. Openness and trust are of great importance here. After all, the idea is to work together and to reach a lasting solution together. In this way, all knowledge is bundled and a balanced solution is sought that is suitable for all parties. Any financial advisor who may be called in will also be engaged to create the best possible financial situation for both parties.
What is the difference between collaborative divorce and mediation?
The biggest difference between collaborative divorce and mediation is that each party has its own lawyer. This lawyer is a trained collaborative divorce lawyer as well as being a mediator. This means that this lawyer will also use all the mediation techniques learned in the collaborative divorce process, but an important difference is that you assist the client as a lawyer and thus represents his or her interests. As a mediator you are objective and independent and you do not take sides. As a lawyer in a collaborative divorce, on the other hand, you are not impartial, and instead seek to advance the interests of your client. The process is then supervised by a coach. This is often a psychologist, so that attention is also paid to the emotional settlement of the divorce. During the mediation, you sit around the table with two parties and a mediator. During a collaborative divorce, in any event, you are seated around the table with two parties, two lawyers and a coach/process supervisor, and other experts may also be called in, such as a financial advisor.
What is the difference between a collaborative divorce and a four-way discussion?
First of all, a collaborative divorce is a total process. A four-way discussion is often a single session with two parties and two lawyers to see if agreements can be made for the divorce. A second major difference is that during a collaborative divorce all parties work together, obviously with the interests of the client in mind, but there is complete openness and cooperation between all team members. We really work as a team. During a four-way discussion, a lawyer really only assists his own client and acts purely from that perspective. As a result, a four-way discussion does not always lead to a suitable solution and certainly not to a lasting solution. A collaborative divorce does provide that.
An important difference is that when entering into the collaborative divorce process, all parties agree that they have the intention to complete the process together and that no adversarial court action will be initiated against them.
Is a collaborative divorce suitable for you?
If you want to know whether a collaborative divorce is the right route for you, you can always contact me. I will then discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of each from of divorce and/or whether the collaborative divorce is indeed the most suitable route for you.
Advantages of a collaborative divorce
The advantages of the collaborative divorce are that, first of all, a team works together to achieve the best possible solution for the parties and the best possible settlement of the divorce. This ensures a more sustainable solution. A more sustainable solution also means that, certainly in the future, a great deal of costs for legal proceedings will be avoided. In addition, the knowledge and skills of the entire team can be utilised, including a coach (often a psychologist) and a financial advisor.
If you would like more information on collaborative divorce, visit the website of the Association of Collaborative Divorce Lawyers.
If you have any questions after reading the above information or if this process seems suitable for you, please do not hesitate to contact me! I look forward to working with you to find the best solution for your divorce, so you can handle the challenging divorce process in a good and appropriate way.