Experienced Collaborative Divorce Lawyer in Westfield, NJ

Collaborative law as a court-based litigation alternative for your divorce in Cranford, Middlesex, Summit, Carteret, and surrounding towns in Central New Jersey

Collaborative Divorce Law in NJCollaborative Divorce is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process to creatively resolve a divorce or civil union dissolution without a trial. By employing a “team” approach, which includes the divorcing couple, each of their attorneys, and other experts with insight into the financial situation and child custody arrangement options, this method is considered a more efficient, cost-effective, and less combative opportunity for marital parties to devise a fair agreement and retain as much control over the process as possible. The goal is to reach a marital agreement between the parties and formalize that agreement in a court order, in order to avoid the need for any court hearings.

Each couple has unique circumstances which led them to enter, and now consider exiting their marriage or dissolving their civil union. They also deserve the best support and legal service available to fit their needs and budget, as they draft agreements about child support, parenting time and visitation, alimony, equitable division of property, debt, and the valuation (if necessary) of a family business.

If you are considering alternatives to court-based litigation for your divorce in areas such as Carteret, New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Hillside, Westfield, Scotch Plains, and throughout Central New Jersey, The Law Office of Edward S. Cooper is here to assist you. Call us immediately at (908) 481-4625  or contact us online. Our goal is to support you through whichever option you choose to close this chapter of your life and help you begin planning the next steps for you and your family.

Is a New Jersey Collaborative Divorce Right for You?

Civil union dissolutions and divorce can be messy. Answering this question depends largely on you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse’s opinion on the process, willingness to set aside your differences and discuss the divorce process in a rational, time-saving, and cost-effective manner typical of the collaborative process.

For couples with children who need to maintain an ongoing and equitable co-parenting relationship, the tone of a collaborative divorce is often more cooperative and less adversarial, and thus more preferable.

What Topics Are Addressed in Preparation for a Collaborative Divorce Session in Summit, NJ?

Collaborative Divorce Session Preparation NJOnce you have retained a knowledgable NJ attorney with extensive collaborative law experience, discuss your divorce goals with regards to financial support, asset division, parenting-time custody, debts, household expenses, and assets like land, investments, family business, or a retirement plan. Your discussion should cover how you want to divide your assets and debts, how you want to handle child custody, visitation, and support, and whether either spouse should provide spousal maintenance to the other after the divorce.

Once you and they have discussed these basics, you will assemble a “team” of experts (i.e., divorce coach, forensic accountant, child psychologist, mental health experts, etc) to develop a uniform framework and guidelines for negotiation and collaboration, not just amongst yourselves but as it relates to your spouse, in order to identify the greatest alternatives and achieve the best outcomes for your family.

How Willingness By Both Parties Increases Success in the Collaborative Divorce Process

The collaborative process is built around a client’s individual timetable and priorities and is not driven by a court-imposed schedule. A lengthy and adversarial trial could further damage already strained familial relationships.

Each team (both parties and their attorneys) participating in the process will often sign a “no court” agreement at the initial meeting, to prevent either party from abandoning the collaborative divorce process in favor of the courtroom. Generally, when someone plays a role in the decision-making process, they are more likely to abide by an agreement. If the negotiations break down and either of the couples wants to go to court, they will have to retain new counsel as their previous attorney would be privy to private information shared in the meetings.

Because going to court rather than completing the collaborative process would be costly and take much longer due to the current backlog of family court cases before the NJ Family Courts, a “no court” document incentivizes the concept of compromise among the lawyers as well as their clients. By keeping this goal in Collaborative Divorce Processmind after each session between the teams (i.e., the couple, their lawyers, and experts), there is a greater likelihood that focussing on the needs and considerations of both sides is getting them closer to a more amicable and mutually beneficial divorce settlement.

In the long run, this process can be more successful than a court-based approach, as the respective parties have resolved the issues themselves through negotiations, rather than having them imposed on them by the court.

What Kind of Issues May be Unsuitable for the Collaborative Divorce Process?

For couples with a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, serious mental or physical health problems, or other bigger issues in their divorce, the collaborative divorce process may not be suitable.

Speak with Linden, New Jersey Collaborative Divorce Law Attorney Edward S. Cooper

Divorce can be a complicated and costly matter, but it can be navigated with quality support by exploring different options. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods are beneficial in that they are less expensive than going to court and they take less time to determine than a court case. It is common for separating couples to choose some form of arbitration, mediation, or the collaborative divorce process for this reason.

At The Law Offices of Edward S. Cooper, Esq, our goal is to support you through whichever option you choose to close this chapter of your life. If you are considering alternatives to the traditional path of divorce in court, and live in Berkeley Heights, Scotch Plains, New Providence, Livingston, Springfield, or any other place near our local office in New Jersey, fill out our online form or call us immediately at (908) 481-4625 for assistance with your case.