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What is a Collaborative Divorce in Michigan?

 Posted on January 05, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerA collaborative divorce is a voluntary dispute resolution process for couples going through a divorce or separation. It aims to settle all issues respectfully through cooperative negotiations instead of going to court. A Michigan divorce lawyer can help you with your collaborative divorce.

The Collaborative Process

In a collaborative divorce, the couple signs a participation agreement committing to negotiate in good faith outside of court. Each spouse hires a collaboratively trained attorney to advise and represent them. The attorneys cannot go to court or threaten litigation. The couple may also use child specialists, financial specialists, coaches, and other professionals to assist in areas like finances and child-related concerns.

This interdisciplinary team works together cooperatively and transparently to generate creative win-win solutions tailored to the couple’s needs. Everything is discussed openly in meetings where all concerns are aired constructively. Compromises are made until the major issues like property division, finances, child custody, and support are all settled by mutual agreement.

Advantages Over Litigation

The collaborative process offers many advantages over a traditional, litigated divorce, including:

  • More control and input over the outcome
  • Less adversarial and stressful
  • Lower emotional and financial costs
  • Preserves privacy as everything stays out of court records
  • Allows custom solutions focused on family dynamics and needs
  • Promotes better communication and cooperation as co-parents

Legally Binding Agreement

Once a complete settlement has been reached, a binding divorce agreement is written up covering all issues. This becomes a court order once formally approved by a judge while briefly reviewing the case. The settlement can comprehensively deal with legal divorce, property division, financial issues, child-related arrangements, taxes, and more.

Not The Right Option for High-Conflict Couples

However, collaborative divorce may not work well for high-conflict couples unwilling to compromise or disclose financial information completely. The cooperative voluntary process also requires both parties to invest fully in negotiating in good faith.

If one spouse does not participate properly or negotiations break down, the collaborative professionals withdraw. Each spouse must then hire new attorneys to restart divorce proceedings through litigation. So there is some risk and cost involved if unsuccessful.

Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?

Many couples in Michigan going through divorce or separation find the cooperative team-based process empowers them to work out fair solutions. It allows them to avoid an emotionally draining legal battle in court. Partners keeping the best interests of the children as a priority often find it most appealing. Overall, collaborative divorce offers a more humanistic approach focused on understanding and shared objectives.

Contact a Novi, MI Divorce Lawyer

To determine if it is the right option for your situation, you should speak to a Northville, MI divorce lawyer about the specifics of your case. Call Elkouri Heath, PLC at 248-344-9700 for a free consultation.

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Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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