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Is a Collaborative Divorce a Better Fit for Your Family?


While celebrity followers chuckled when Gwyneth Paltrow first described her 2014 divorce as a “conscious uncoupling,” since that time other well-known personalities have chosen similar ways to describe their choice for a peaceful parting of the ways rather than an acrimonious divorce. In Colorado, divorcing spouses have the option to avoid bitter court battles by choosing a collaborative divorce. Not only does this choice avoid contention and minimize hard feelings during an already sensitive emotional time, but it’s also more efficient and cost-effective.

No one begins their walk down the aisle expecting divorce at the end of their journey, but when it’s time to part, does it always have to be a battle? Not if you choose a collaborative divorce in Colorado.

What is a Collaborative Divorce?

In a collaborative divorce, non-adversarial divorcing spouses agree to make their own decisions about the important matters that the state requires them to resolve. They negotiate together with their respective lawyers to draft their own legal agreement on key issues before the courts finalize their divorce. These include:

  • Child custody and parenting-time schedule
  • A child support amount under the state’s guidelines
  • The equitable distribution of marital assets (property acquired during the marriage vs. separate property)
  • Division of marital debts
  • Spousal support if appropriate

When spouses decide on a collaborative divorce, both spouses hire their own lawyers to represent their interests and desired outcomes but agree to negotiate their own divorce settlement agreement and parenting time schedule without litigation in court. When spouses agree on all issues without litigation, a judge just signs off on the agreement. The only exceptions would be if the judge finds an agreement to be grossly unfair to one spouse or has reason to believe that a spouse signed the agreement under duress.

What are the Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce in Colorado?

The goal of a collaborative divorce is to avoid a trial and instead commit to negotiating the settlement agreement outside of a courtroom through attorneys and mediation. This method has significant financial and emotional benefits as well as taking less time to resolve. Some of the benefits of a collaborative divorce include:

  • Saves court fees and attorney fees in a long court battle
  • Spouses retain control of the process and outcome rather than letting a judge decide
  • Keeps communication open and leads to a better ability to communicate and co-parent effectively after the divorce
  • Minimizes negative and adversarial emotions like anger, recrimination, and stress
  • Keeps personal and financial details off the public record
  • It’s better for the children to see their parents working together as a family unit to resolve important issues with common sense resolutions rather than fighting each other in court with the children caught in the middle

A collaborative divorce effectively puts both spouses on the same team with the goal of streamlining the process for a faster, more peaceful resolution rather than arbitrating a divorce on separate teams with the goal of besting the other at every point. 

Spouses can work together with the help of their divorce attorneys and mediators through a creative collaboration process. A Colorado collaborative divorce resolves issues without rancor which puts ex-spouses on track for a more amicable relationship going forward when they co-parent children together and move on to their separate lives.

Divorcing spouses without children also benefit from a less contentious process by beginning their separate lives with fewer hard feelings and without having to face the future with the memory of ending their marriage with aggressive arguments inside a courtroom.

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