What is Collaborative Divorce?
Ending a marriage can be tough. That’s because there often is a lot going on, including complicated financial issues like alimony, child support, and equitable distribution in NC.
It’s not just about money. Getting divorced regularly involves at least some level of hard feelings, anger, resentment, and a flood of emotions. That’s entirely normal and understandable.
What happens if a marriage falls apart, but you still care for your spouse? You may not want to be married anymore, but you also don’t want to fight about everything.
There can be an easier way to clear the air, to end a bad relationship, and go your separate ways, without endless litigation, acrimony, and the financial burdens that entails.
“It may seem odd to hear that from an attorney who has made his bones duking it out in court. If you’re truly able to set aside your emotions, deciding to view the divorce as a business trip, collaborative law may be the way to go.”
– Bill Powers, Collaborative Law Attorney
The truth is, litigation is something courtroom lawyers actually enjoy. At least that’s true at our law firm. Our motto is: Si vis pacem, para bellum
Courtroom advocacy and arguing cases in court fulfills our competitive nature. It also is intellectually stimulating, rewarding work for an attorney.
It also isn’t necessarily in your best interests.
A collaborative divorce is something you should at least consider. Divorce lawyers in Charlotte enjoy being in the courtroom. Chances are, you won’t.How Much Does a Divorce Cost?
“I have a simple divorce. We just need to work out some of the details.” It’s something we hear on a regular basis.
Most divorce lawyers will at least try to politely listen, kindly pointing out the all too often harsh realities of divorce court to clients.
“While I’m certain they exist somewhere, I personally don’t think there really is such a thing as a simple divorce in North Carolina. The union of spouses is by its very nature is complex. The NC divorce laws, as a matter of public policy, don’t encourage a fast, easy divorce”
– Divorce Attorney in Charlotte NC
Everyone seems to understand lawyers charge hourly rates. We bill in 10-minute increments.
What you may not realize is there are costs of a divorce, in addition to legal fees, that add up fast, including:
- Expert Witness Fees
- Family Counselors
- Child Welfare Consultants
- Forensic Accountants
- Private Investigators
- Paralegals / Legal Assistants
- Copy Charges / Duplication Fees
- Filings Fees
- Deposition / Court Reporter Fees
- Business Evaluation
- Realtor Fees
- Financial Planners
Even if you’re willing to negotiate in good faith, with complete transparency, your soon-to-be ex-spouse may have no intention to be that reasonable. They may wish to make things difficult and inflict financial pain.
They may even proceed in bad faith at every step. And while that may eventually be addressed by a Family Court Judge, it may not.
Even getting to court is expensive. If you’re sitting in court, arguing a case, you’re spending money.
Bad faith, hurt feelings, and malicious intent are some of the reasons the costs of a traditional divorce can skyrocket. Some people literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars arguing.
Before you assume, “Yah, maybe millionaires do that,” think again. Litigants regularly spend everything they have (and money they don’t really have running up debt and borrowing money from family) fighting in court.
If it involves your kids and child custody or visitation, that’s at least understandable. Unfortunately, if you’re dealing with someone who wants to hurt you, who rather waste money than let you ever see a penny, divorce court in Charlotte may seem like an effective tool.
Again, it’s not supposed to work that way, but it happens. Settling at a loss may very well prove to be less expensive than courtroom litigation.What is Collaborative Divorce?
Mediation, Arbitration, and Collaborative Law in North Carolina are possible alternatives to courtroom battles. They are a “no court” way of settling divorce cases that has become increasingly popular in United States.
More-and-more Divorce Attorneys in Charlotte are turning to “collaborative divorce” to help clients avoid our “adversarial system of justice.”
In simple terms, a Collaborative Divorce is a written agreement to negotiate and openly share information. It avoids traditional costs of litigation, because the parties aren’t fighting over discovery materials and the disclosure of information.
Clearly, sometimes you cannot reason with the unreasonable. Some matters just cannot be resolved without some form of interaction with a Family Court Judge.
In collaborative law, there may even be the option to mediate or choose binding arbitration to settle disputes, rather than go to court.Collaborative Law is not for Everyone
If you can’t agree after collaborating, you’ll spend even more money than a traditional divorce. You’ll be forced to find another lawyer, as the collaborative attorneys under the NC family laws are not allowed to litigate your case in court.
That’s part of the deal. It very much is intended as a way to encourage settlements.
At the Powers Law Firm PA, we’re courtroom litigators who appreciate the benefits of Collaborative Divorce. We want what is best for you and your family.
We are dedicated to hard work and providing sound legal advice. We encourage collaborative divorce, setting forth from the outset, that’s not necessarily our first inclination as attorneys known for our work in the courtroom.
Call now to schedule an office visit with Bill Powers or one of our other divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC. There is a fee for legal consultation and as stated, our law firm charges hourly rates for legal representation.