Cooperative divorce is also known as the cooperative process or collaborative lite. It’s a process used when one of the parties involved in the divorce has already gotten an attorney who isn’t trained in collaborative law.
The attorney who is practicing cooperative divorce law will reach out to the other attorneys and ask if they will help work out the issues in a civil, amicable way. The goal is to prevent you and your spouse from having to go to court.
Will other attorneys work with a cooperative divorce attorney?
Usually they are willing to try to cooperate. Unlike with collaborative law, there is no formal agreement to keep the case out of court, though. That means that if an agreement cannot be reached, then you may still need to go to court in the future.
How does a cooperative law meeting work?
If you are going to have a meeting, then it works as a four-way meeting. This meeting has four people or more present, which may include you, your spouse, their attorney and your attorney. Other professionals may also be there, such as accountants.
You have the option of negotiating with your spouse independently, or you can ask that your attorneys do the negotiating on their own. Both your attorneys and the other party’s attorneys may work together to try to come up with unique solutions that they can propose to you as well.
Cooperative law meetings may have a set time limit, such as an hour, or you might opt to have a half- or all-day meeting to work through as many issues as possible all at once.
Why is a cooperative divorce a good idea for people who are willing to work together?
The benefit of a cooperative divorce is that you and your spouse have the opportunity to work out the details of your divorce without having to appear in court. The process may save you time, since you won’t have to go to hearings, and it may save you money. This kind of divorce can be faster, but it will continue on until both parties are satisfied with the agreements they make.