A traditional, litigated divorce can subject you and your family to a loss of privacy about your personal life, finances, children, and your physical and mental health. Litigation is conducted at the courthouse. Hearings and trials are open to the public – anyone can just walk into any courtroom, sit down and watch and listen. If you are a public figure, the press may be watching and reporting on everything that is said by you and your spouse and any witnesses that are there to give evidence about your life, your family and your financial matters.
A traditional litigated divorce can also be extremely time-consuming. A hearing on an important matter associated with your divorce may be on the court’s calendar for first thing in the morning, but you may wait around all day until you’re heard. Employers and associates will have to be informed about the demands on your time, causing further loss of privacy.
Collaborative Divorce is Designed for Privacy
Collaborative lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Meetings with the collaborative team, which includes you, your spouse and your attorneys and any professionals you’ve decided can assist you, are held in the privacy of the professionals’ offices. Meetings are held at times that are convenient for everyone and limited to the amount of time everyone can spare. Any documents that are prepared for everyone’s convenience are protected by statute and are never admissible in court. By law, the only time it is necessary to appear in court for a Collaborative Divorce is to present an agreed order for the judge’s approval. Agreements regarding the division of your property and liabilities can be recorded in separate documents that are not filed with the Court.