Statistics from 2017 showed that the divorce rate in New Jersey is about 12.7 per 1,000 married individuals. There are four legal ways to become divorced in New Jersey including litigation, mediation, arbitration and collaboration.
While the first three methods are fairly well-known, not many divorcing couples recognize the possibility of divorcing through collaboration.
Keep reading to learn more about this increasingly popular divorce option.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Several years ago, Governor Chris Christie signed into law the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act. Once it was official, New Jersey became the 9th state to legalize the process. Here’s how it works:
- Both parties sign a participation agreement to cooperate in good faith
- All parties try to focus on the goals of a divorce without bias or “winning” mentality
- Experts are only called when necessary
- If the parties fail to reach an agreement, then the case will go to court
When successful, the collaborative divorce process occurs entirely outside of the courtroom.
Advantages of Collaborative Divorce
Statistics show that a divorce, when litigated, can cost anywhere from $10,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Incredibly, 97 percent of those attempting to litigate their divorce will eventually settle out of court. That means that these added legal expenses were probably not worth spending.
In contrast, collaboration mitigates the costs of divorce by avoiding the courtroom. In addition to being less expensive, there are other advantages to this divorce method including:
- Beneficial for children transitioning through the divorce
- More freedom to establish creative solutions to modern-day problems
- The process is faster
Proponents of collaborative divorce often see this alternative option as beneficial for everyone involved. It’s important to note, however, that the method won’t work for every former couple.
Collaborative Divorce Isn’t for Everyone
While this process is often seen as faster and cheaper, it’s impossible to use this method with uncooperative or combative spouses. If your former husband or wife is determined to “win” the divorce process, then it would be futile to try to collaborate outside of the courtroom.
It’s important to discuss your specific circumstances with an experienced divorce attorney to determine which option is best for you and your family.
Contact a Voorhees Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Collaborative Divorce in New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of property, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Davis & Mendelson represent clients throughout the state, including Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Moorestown, Medford and Mt. Laurel. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-627-0100 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1200 Laurel Oak Road, Suite 101, Voorhees, NJ 08043.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.