How is Collaborative Divorce different from Divorce Litigation?
Are you considering collaborative divorce? If so, you’re probably wondering how collaborative divorce is different from divorce litigation. Marcy Jones is an experienced family law litigation attorney and a trained, experienced collaborative divorce lawyer, so she can describe both options for you. Call 434-845-2463 to make an appointment with Marcy to discuss your situation and your options.
In collaborative divorce, you and your spouse control the process and make final decisions. In divorce litigation, the judge controls the process and makes the final decisions.
In collaboration, you and your spouse pledge to be respectful and open on all the issues. Litigation is based on an adversarial process and parties tend to try to “hide the ball” in order to gain an advantage.
In collaboration, the costs are manageable and usually less expensive than litigation. In litigation, the costs are unpredictable and can escalate very quickly based on your decisions or the decisions of your spouse.
The fees you pay to your collaborative lawyer are primarily for time spent with your lawyer in the collaborative meetings. The fees you pay to your litigation lawyer are often for hours of time spent by your lawyer reviewing financial documents and preparing for trial.
In collaboration, you and your spouse determine the timetable. The average case can be completed in three to eight months. In litigation, how long your case takes depends on the court system. Because there are usually multiple hearings in litigated cases, they can take one to three years to complete.
In collaboration, your lawyer works with you to achieve a mutually acceptable settlement. In litigation, the lawyers fight to win, which means that someone loses. The truth is there are no winners in litigation. The cost of litigation in terms of time, money, and stress is astronomical to both parties, regardless of who “wins.”
Marcy Jones was one of the first Lynchburg and Virginia lawyers to be trained in collaborative divorce law. She is also an experienced mediator. She’s a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, the Virginia Association of Collaborative Professionals, and Collaborative Professionals of Central Virginia.
Want more information about collaborative divorce or mediation? Call Marcy Jones at 434-845-2463.