Divorce in Arizona can be a lengthy, expensive, and, in some cases, contentious process. For those who are seeking to avoid a protracted legal battle and willing to put aside their differences, there is an alternative approach known as collaborative divorce. Though designed to be a more amicable way to end a marriage, it takes an attorney specifically trained and experienced in the collaborative divorce process to protect your rights.
The collaborative professionals at Phoenix-based Cohen Family Law regularly help divorcing couples and families resolve their most personal and pressing issues in a caring, efficient manner. By working with a respected network of counselors and financial specialists, we are committed to helping our clients navigate collaborative divorce and manage this difficult family transition with dignity and compassion.
When you consult with us, we will take the time to understand your unique family dynamics and explain what you can expect from the collaborative divorce process. We understand that ending a marriage is never easy, and even more trying when children are involved and at risk. You can rest assured we will work with you to find solutions that help to preserve family unity and enable you to prepare for your new lifestyle.
Principal attorney Mitchell E. Cohen dedicates his practice to helping families avoid time- consuming, expensive legal battles by leveraging his knowledge of collaborative divorce law in Arizona. Our legal team has the necessary training, skills and experience to guide you through each step of the process.
At Cohen Family Law, we have a well-earned reputation as compassionate counselors who always work in the best interests of our clients. The sooner you contact our office for a consultation, the sooner we can start working on your collaborative divorce.
Collaborative Divorce Lawyer in Phoenix Arizona
For families looking to avoid litigation, collaborative divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can help to minimize the tension typically associated with a marital breakup.
To initiate the process, both spouses and their attorneys must agree in writing to negotiate the divorce and not to seek judicial intervention.
While there is no formal discovery process that usually takes place in a litigated divorce, both spouses must also agree to engage in a good faith exchange of relevant information. In other words, they agree not to conceal assets or make other misrepresentations. Finally, both spouses must agree to communicate in a way that advances the objectives of the divorce and work collaboratively with their attorneys to reach an agreement.
Although the courts are not involved, the key issues of the divorce must be resolved, including:
- Dividing marital property
- Spousal maintenance
- Child custody
- Parenting time
- Child support
The fact that the parties have agreed not to seek court intervention does not mean that they waive any of their legal rights. If negotiations are not successful or if either party fails to bargain in good faith, the spouses retain the option of going to court. If litigation becomes necessary, however, they must hire new attorneys. At the same time, if either party conceals assets, withholds information, or acts in bad faith, the attorneys can withdraw from the proceedings.
How is collaborative divorce different from mediation?
Although collaborative divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution, it differs in manys ways from divorce mediation. In that process, the spouses work with a neutral third party, typically an attorney recognized by the court, to resolve the issues in the divorce. Moreover, the court must approve any agreement before granting the divorce.
By contrast, a mediator is not involved in the collaborative divorce process, which involves a counselor or “facilitator” who guides the discussions and negotiations, with an emphasis on issues such as child custody, parental responsibilities and parenting time.
Collaborative divorce in an interdisciplinary approach that calls on a team of experts, including trained mental health professionals. In addition, accountants and financial advisors collaborate with the spouse’s attorneys to resolve a wide range of issues, such as:
- Income and asset valuations (including closely held businesses and retirement plans)
- Dividing the marital property
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
It is important to note the attorneys and experts have no decision-making role. In the end, the spouses must be able to resolve issues of the divorce if they wish to avoid litigation.
What are the benefits?
Collaborative divorce offers several benefits, not the least of which is that it minimizes the potential for a protracted, contentious legal battle. By working together, the spouses can settle their differences fairly and efficiently while creating a more secure environment for the children, who are at risk of emotional harm during difficult family transitions.
Moreover, because there are no required court appearances and legal filings, collaborative divorce is less expensive and more expedient than litigated divorce. Ultimately, this approach is well-suited to couples who plan on raising their children together and wish to maintain amicable relations. It is important to note that collaborative divorce is not feasible in cases involving domestic abuse, child abuse or similar misconduct, however.
Contact Our Experienced Arizona Collaborative Divorce Attorney
If you are seeking a more amicable way to end your marriage and believe that collaborative divorce is the right option for you, reach out to Cohen Family Law today. We offer free consultations, cost-effective services, and innovative solutions to a wide range of family law issues.
Cohen Family Law services clients with their collaborative divorce needs throughout the Phoenix, Arizona area including Anthem, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Laveen, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale, Surprise, and Tempe.