Understanding Collaborative Divorce
According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, there were 7,643 divorces filed statewide in 2020. In the state of Georgia, a collaborative divorce is an option available to couples who wish to privately negotiate the divorce terms without going to court. Both spouses will work together with their respective attorneys in a conference room to mutually agree upon the terms of their divorce settlement.
Attorney Noreen Banks-Ware has the experience and resources needed to guide clients through the complexities of collaborative divorce. She’s available to discuss your unique concerns, help you understand your legal options, and offer you the comprehensive legal counsel you need to make important decisions. As an experienced Georgia divorce attorney, Noreen Banks-Ware will work diligently with both parties to settle key divorce issues amicably and help you move forward as quickly and peacefully as possible.
E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC proudly represents clients across Covington, Lithonia, Conyers, Lawrenceville, Decatur, and McDonough, Georgia.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce can be described as a legal divorce process that allows both spouses to negotiate all the terms and conditions of their divorce settlement without any need to go to court. Through collaborative divorce, couples are allowed to work together and mutually agree upon their divorce arrangement.
The Collaborative Divorce Process in Georgia
Collaborative divorce is aimed at providing a peaceful divorce process and helping both parties move on quickly. Here are the steps involved in a collaborative divorce in Georgia:
- Have a Discussion: To start with, both spouses will need to discuss what they want from the divorce. Monetary, child custody, and spousal support issues may also be discussed.
- Hire an Attorney: Each spouse should hire an experienced collaborative divorce attorney to represent their best interests during the negotiations. The same lawyer cannot represent both spouses.
- Meet with Your Attorney: The couples will meet with their respective lawyers independently to discuss the divorce considerations and settlement agreement.
- Hold a Four-Way Meeting: A four-way meeting involving the spouses and their respective attorneys will be held in a conference room. During the meeting, there will be complete transparency and full disclosure of all relevant divorce documents and information. Although the attorneys will be representing their client’s best interests, they’ll be working toward a common goal — a mutually agreed-upon divorce settlement.
- Draw Up and File the Divorce Settlement: The attorneys will help draw up the agreed-upon divorce settlement and file it in court for official approval. There is no need for both spouses to be present in court for the final judgment.
How It Differs from Traditional Divorce
In Georgia, the traditional divorce process involves going to court to settle divorce issues. Conversely, collaborative divorce allows both spouses to negotiate a divorce settlement mutually without court intervention. Even if there are issues during the collaborative divorce process, a mediator may be called upon.
How It Differs from Mediation
In a collaborative divorce, each spouse is represented by their own collaborative divorce attorney. In contrast, an unbiased third-party mediator will be called upon to facilitate the mediation process without advocating on behalf of either spouse.
The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
There are certain benefits to collaborative divorce, including:
- Eliminating the stress and emotional experience linked with traditional divorce proceedings
- Giving the spouses more control over the terms of their divorce settlement
- Allowing both parties to have a better understanding of their divorce terms
- Allowing couples to maintain a positive relationship throughout the collaborative divorce process
- Negotiation takes place quickly, and the divorce can be finalized in little to no time
- Providing both spouses with professional assistance and detailed counsel throughout the divorce process
- The divorce terms or settlement agreement can be personalized depending on the unique separation needs of each spouse.
When is Collaborative Divorce a Good Option?
Collaborative divorce may be a good option in the following situations:
- Both parties are respectful
- Both parents want to protect their children
- Both parties prefer to keep it out of court
- There is a balance of power (no controlling behavior or abuse)
- Both parties see the benefit of working with specialists (attorney, child therapist, financial planner, etc.)
Work with an Experienced Collaborative Divorce Attorney
Filing for divorce in Georgia involves several complicated procedures. Notwithstanding how straightforward collaborative divorce appears, negotiating a divorce settlement, asset division, determining child custody, spousal support, and agreeing on parenting time can make the divorce process more stressful and overwhelming. Hiring an experienced Georgia family law attorney is important for proper guidance and decision-making.
Attorney Noreen Banks-Ware has devoted her career to providing outstanding legal services and guiding clients in family law matters, including collaborative divorce. As your legal counsel, she will help you understand your divorce options and work diligently with all parties involved to resolve divorce issues and relationship differences peacefully and quickly. Noreen Banks-Ware can offer the comprehensive legal guidance and support you need to throughout every phase of your collaborative divorce.
Contact E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment with a knowledgeable divorce attorney. Noreen Banks-Ware can assist and guide you throughout the decision-making process of your divorce. E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC is proud to serve individuals and families across Lithonia, Covington, Conyers, Lawrenceville, Decatur, and McDonough, Georgia.