Each premarital partner selects their own Collaborative attorney to represent him or her from the very beginning of the premarital Collaborative Process. You and your Collaborative attorney work together until the premarital agreement is completed and signed.
Neutral professionals such as a financial planner and/or a Collaborative coach may also be added to your Collaborative team to help you and your partner develop and fully understand your goals as a couple, and the legal and financial ramifications of your decisions.
Before any drafting takes place, you and your partner are encouraged to express your thoughts and concerns about what you plan to build together as joint property and what you want to maintain as separate property.
Full disclosure of the property and debts of each premarital partner is exchanged including some verification of each asset and each debt.
After full discussion, disclosure, and agreement is reached by the premarital couple, the agreement is drafted through the participation of both Collaborative attorneys.
After the draft of the premarital agreement is completed, the draft is fully discussed and explained to each premarital partner by his or her Collaborative attorney.
by John R. Denny, Family Law Attorney Hittelman Strunk Law Group, LLP, Newport Beach, California
The team approach helps you get through the process without going to war.
You will work with a team of legal, financial, and mental health professionals who are specifically trained in the Collaborative Process. They agree to work with you to reach a settlement outside of court.
You make the decisions, not the judge.
In the Collaborative Process, the parties do not go to court. They resolve their differences through cooperative negotiation. Thus, all orders are made with both parties’ agreement.
The process is less expensive than a litigated divorce.
While all cases are different, studies show that a successful Collaborative case is less expensive than a litigated case, even one which settles before trial.
Coaches help you and your spouse learn to communicate in ways which can reduce the adversarial nature of the divorce.
In a full team Collaborative Divorce, each party will work with an assigned mental health professional acting as a coach. Among other things, the coach will assist the party to avoid the type of communication which will further divide the parties, and make settlement more costly and difficult.