Personally I do not say that the Collaborative process will be cheaper than conventional, but it would certainly not be any more costly.
The emotional cost would be far lower.[/quote]
I've been meaning to post for ages on this. My ex-husband and I divorced via collaborative law. I think that's a main contributor to the way we can still talk to each other.
My pointers would be:
- if you can still sit down and talk to each other then do seriously think about this as a route. If you can't bear to be in the same room then it may not be for you.
- it was really powerful in keeping us focused on what was important: we have two wonderful - arguably grown up- daughters and even if they are 'adults' we still care about them and how we divorced was probably just as important as how we had been their parents for so long.
- it's not a soft option. Certainly the way it worked for us was that if either of us - having committed to the process- had thrown our toys out of the pram and done the 'taking you to court' route, then we would have had to start again - our collaborative law solicitors wouldn't have represented us and we'd have had to go back to square one - excellent way of focusing on a 'win:win'.
- it wasn't cheap!: i think the costs were pretty much as outlined in your post - but at leadt it felt as if we were paying for expertise. Our solicitors' time was largely spent with us sitting round a table rather than on exchanging snotty letters to little [and expensive] effect.
- if you think this might be an option, then you both need to find collaborative lawyers who are prepared to do it this say - takes 2 [or in this case probably 4] to tango.
- the timescale is yours, together, not the court's
I found out about collaborative law by accident. I'm so glad I did. I looked at the conventional routes and thought that even if we weren't adversarial at the beginning, by the time we got into an adversarial legal system we'd be a damned sight more than likely to hate each other at the end. So we didn't and we don't.
My own experience has been reinforced by my new partner's. Because of the starting point this was never going to be an option for him so we've spent a fortune on pretty mediocre service from solicitors who seem to me to be just expensive and not very efficient administrators.
I so hope i will never ever go through divorce again because it's horrible - but at least this time I don't feel damaged by the process itself.
No single approach is right for everyone. Many couples do find the no-court process known as Collaborative Practice (Collaborative Law/Collaborative Divorce) a welcome alternative to the often destructive, uncomfortable aspects of conventional divorce.