Top Five Myths About Collaborative Divorce

You may have heard about Collaborative divorce, an option for ending your marriage without litigation. Unfortunately, there are some myths about the process that might give you pause. In this blog post, we talk about some of those myths—and the truths behind them.

Myth #1: Divorce is nasty and vicious, and therefore I need a bulldog attorney on my side.

Truth: Divorce does not have to be a battle and you don’t have to become adversaries. Your collaborative attorney still advocates for you but won’t attack your spouse. Instead, you, your spouse, and your attorneys work together as a team to resolve the issues related to your separation.

Myth #2: I need to know that I’m protected, and a Collaborative divorce won’t provide me the same level of safety and protection that an aggressive attorney will.

Truth: You are actually more protected in a Collaborative divorce. Besides the protection of your Collaborative attorney, a skilled advocate on your side, there are often a team of other professionals involved who are there to guide and protect you, including a divorce coach, a financial neutral, and a child specialist.

Myth #3: I need my day in court so the judge will hear MY side of the story!

Truth: The judge has hundreds of other cases on his or her docket and is largely annoyed that you and your spouse couldn’t reach an agreement and are taking up valuable time in the judge’s courtroom. After a gut-wrenching trial, the judge may not rule in your favor. In a Collaborative divorce, you and your spouse control the outcome. Nothing happens without your agreement.

Myth: Collaborative divorce is an expensive and largely unsuccessful process. I’ve heard stories from other attorneys who speak badly about Collaborative.

Truth: Some attorneys speak poorly of the Collaborative process either because they don’t understand it, don’t want to do it, or have tried to handle a collaborative case and failed. Many litigation attorneys say they can also be “collaborative” in their negotiations but haven’t really bought into the concept of interest-based negotiation. The large majority of Collaborative cases successfully resolve without court intervention.

Myth #5: My attorney refuses to sign an agreement saying he’ll withdraw if the case goes to court but says that we can still handle the case Collaboratively.

Truth: To be considered a Collaborative divorce, both spouses and both attorneys must sign an agreement that if the case goes to court, both attorneys must withdraw. Without this key agreement, the case is not Collaborative. Beware of attorneys who try to convince you otherwise.

Have more questions about Collaborative divorce, or North Carolina divorce options in general? Contact Southpark Family Law to schedule a consultation and get the answers you need.