Does collaborative law work for high-asset divorces?

Thanks to media coverage of high-profile divorce cases, it may appear that divorce among the wealthy means thousands of dollars spent on litigation that lasts for years. This costly, lengthy process brings out the worst in the parties involved.

Perhaps you have heard of alternative methods, specifically collaborative law. You want to try it but you are unsure if it works for divorces with numerous, complex assets. The good news is that the collaborative approach can be effective for high-asset cases.

What is collaborative law?

Collaborative law is a middle ground between its two counterparts, litigation and mediation. Litigation requires each spouse to retain an attorney and battle it out in court for a judge to rule on the final agreement. Mediation entails the spouses meeting with a neutral facilitator to create the terms of their divorce order, which each of their attorneys will review before submission.

Collaborative law maintains separate legal representation to ensure advocacy while adopting the cooperative method of mediation. You and your spouse agree to work out your terms outside of the courtroom with the help of your attorneys and any other professionals, such as accountants and appraisers. You also promise not to resort to litigation. If you two cannot come to an agreement, you must start over with traditional litigation.

Taking this route is best if you two are willing to collaborate. When intimidation or hostility is involved, it may be best to go straight to litigation.

What are the benefits of collaborative law?

The advantage of collaborative law is that it puts your divorce in your hands instead of allowing a judge who does not know you make the decisions. Having this control makes you both likelier to adhere to the divorce order. It also significantly cuts down the cost and duration. With more time and money saved comes less stress, contention and other negative consequences of divorce.