The Collaborative Approach to Divorce in North Carolina

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Nov 08, 2017 | 0 Comments

Getting a divorce does not have to be a contentious process where both sides are fighting over every detail. At some point during the marriage, the couple likely loved, trusted, and respected one another. The decision to separate does not have to be the end of working together. Collaborative divorce is a way for the couple to resolve their separation differences without having to give up control to the court.

A collaborative approach to divorce is based on the idea that the separating spouses are in the best position to decide how to settle their divorce issues. By going through the courts, it is a judge that decides what each party gets when they separate, even if neither party agrees that it is the best outcome. When spouses work together, they are in charge of crafting their own solutions.

In a collaborative divorce, each side is generally represented by their own attorney; however, each side commits to a collaborative law pledge that focuses on compromise instead of the traditional adversarial approach. This includes decisions regarding child custody, child support, spousal support, property distribution, and even custody of family pets

By going through a collaborative divorce, everyone can benefit. Each spouse can save time, money, and the aggravation of a contested divorce. A long, drawn-out divorce can require multiple court appearances, meetings with the lawyers, and lengthy negotiations. This may mean expensive legal fees on both sides. A collaborative approach puts the focus on mutually resolving any separation issues.

These cooperative separations can also be the best option for couples that share children. Chances are the couple will continue to see each other in regular daily life for the foreseeable future. It can be difficult to shed feelings of animosity and anger that developed during a bitter divorce. With children, family, and community in common after the separation, it can be beneficial for everyone involved for the former spouses to stay on good terms.

Like mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution, a collaborative approach to divorce puts the ultimate separation agreement in the hands of the separating couple. This can allow them to come up with creative solutions to their separation issues, without leaving it up to the winner-take-all results that the court may impose.

A collaborative divorce is not for everyone. In some separations, one or both spouses may be unwilling to cooperate. Other separations may be so painful that it is difficult for the parties to communicate without expressing their feelings of anger, betrayal, or jealousy. In these types of separations, you may need an attorney to solely protect your interests and advocate for you to get a fair settlement. Talk to your North Carolina family lawyer to help you determine if a collaborative divorce is right for you.

Jerkins Family Law

Going through a separation or divorce is a difficult process and you may be unsure where to turn. If you want to take a collaborative approach to your separation and avoid a contentious divorce, Jerkins Family Law can help. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Jerkins Family Law is committed to helping their clients in their time of need. Visit our dedicated divorce page to see how we can help you. Jerkins Family Law can help you with all your family law needs. Contact us today.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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