Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is focused on helping families resolve their differences in an emotionally safe and respectful environment.

Melissa Fecak, Esq,

Collaborative Law

Collaborative Law is a different way to divorce. Simply stated, in a collaborative divorce each spouse has an attorney to assist them in settling their issues outside of court. Parties engage in mindful negotiations with the assistance of their respective attorneys to allow the couple to divorce without destroying the family.  There are three basic principles to collaborative practice: a pledge not to go to court, an honest exchange of all information and a resolution which is beneficial to the parties and their children. 

Collaborative law or collaborative divorce has been around for about 25 years, but it is newer in New Jersey.  In 2014, the State of New Jersey passed the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act.  This Act created privilege in the collaborative process to give clients greater security in the full and free disclosure of information necessary to resolve their matter.  It also gives privilege in matters where parties utilize the assistance of other trained professionals, such as coaches, child specialists and financial neutrals. 

Collaborative divorces may be less costly than a typical litigated divorce.  The spouses have greater control over the costs associated with divorce.

With a Collaborative Divorce, the spouses make their own determination in the outcome of the divorce. The spouses have control in what happens to them and their children.

Collaborative divorce uses problem solving and creative solutions to reach a conclusion that fits the family’s needs.    

Collaborative Divorce is respectful of the privacy of the parties and the families. When litigating in open Court, the family’s dirty laundry is out in the open. In the Collaborative Divorce, everything is kept private within the team and is not disclosed unless otherwise agreed to by the spouses.

Parties enter into a Participation Agreement at the commencement of the collaborative process. In the event that the matter falls away from the collaborative process, the professionals involved within the matter must withdraw from the case.  This disqualification clause is necessary to the process.

You may be asking yourself, why should I divorce collaboratively?
  • Do I want to continue to battle against my spouse?
  • Do I want to throw mud at my spouse (or have mud thrown at me) in a public court?
  • Do I want to make my divorce more about getting even then about protecting my children?
  • Do I want to NOT be able to co-parent with my spouse?
  • Do I want a judge telling me what will happen with my children, house, retirement accounts and other assets?
  • Do I want to potentially spend tens of thousands of dollars (or even more) in legal fees?

If you answered yes to these questions, then collaborative is not the right way to divorce for you.

Learn more about your options.

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